Waste warms New­town

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Poly Palace may be a one-man band, but he’s got big plans.

The home in­su­la­tion op­er­a­tion, which works out of a large shed op­po­site Trash Palace, is man­aged by Richie Moore.

He says times have been tough lately, but when he was asked to pitch his poly­styrene prod­uct to Hawkins Con­struc­tion re­cently, he gave it ev­ery­thing.

Hawkins has a con­tract with Welling­ton City Coun­cil to build town­houses and apart­ments at the Re­gent Park de­vel­op­ment in Owen St, New­town.

‘‘They con­tacted me af­ter hear­ing about the Poly pods we have and it’s been great – a real boost for the busi­ness,’’ said Mr Moore.

Over 900 pods have been shipped to New­town, and only 200 were left to go last week.

Mr Moore said since WCC helps pay for the Porirua land­fill, and he is sav­ing poly­styrene – such as pack­ag­ing for tele­vi­sions and meat – from en­ter­ing it, it is a win-win for ev­ery­one.

Be­fore the con­crete is poured for the foun­da­tion of the homes, Poly pods are laid in a grid. The whole process for one home can take as lit­tle as 15 min­utes.

The con­crete then goes in, mould­ing around the poly­styrene and re­in­forced steel to form a ‘‘ribbed raft waf­fle slab that is sig­nif­i­cantly stronger’’, and pro­vides bet­ter in­su­la­tion than a tra­di­tional slab, he says.

The pods also pro­vide a level of ‘‘seis­mic pro­tec­tion’’.

‘‘Be­cause we make Poly pods in our re­cy­cling fac­tory at Spicer Land­fill, the typ­i­cal lev­els of con­tam­i­na­tion in post-con­sumer waste are man­aged by our process. Rather than ex­port the poly­styrene out of the coun­try, then im­port new poly­styrene gran­ules at three times the price for pod man­u­fac­ture, we take the short­cut of man­u­fac­tur­ing the waste di­rectly into pod prod­ucts.’’ Poly Palace was a fi­nal­ist in the Welling­ton Re­gional Gold Awards green cat­e­gory in 2007, and won the en­vi­ron­men­tal award at the Porirua Busi­ness Awards that year.

‘‘The poly­styrene we take has a typ­i­cally short life, and is des­tined for [ the] land­fill. We make prod­ucts un­der the New Zealand Build­ing Code that we war­rant as be­ing fit for a 50-year life span. In 50 years’ time, de­vel­op­ments such as Re­gent Park will be pro­tected by [ap­pli­ances’] pack­ag­ing waste.’’

Moves are afoot to ex­pand, with a big­ger shed and more efficient ma­chin­ery for pro­duc­ing the pods and stan­dard un­der­floor sheets. There may also be room in the bud­get for an­other staff mem­ber.

‘‘We’re still small but I have am­bi­tions for Poly Palace. It’s a unique process, it’s 100 per cent re­cy­cled and a great so­lu­tion for waste.’’

A man with plans: Richie Moore could talk about poly­styrene from sun­rise to sun­down. Poly Palace is his pas­sion, and win­ning a con­tract with Hawkins and WCC is a firm sign his busi­ness is on the up.

Warmer home: Con­trac­tors put the fin­ish­ing touches on the ‘Poly pods’ in the foun­da­tions of one of the Re­gent Park homes in New­town.

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