Waste warms Newtown
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.