In the times that we've been down to Christchurch since September we've seen any number of trucks trundling along laden with earthquake debris or liquefaction residue. And we've wondered where it's going. Well; now we know - The Press reports:
A mountain of rubble is rising from the ruins of Christchurch at a makeshift landfill in the east of the city.
The Burwood resource recovery park in Bottle Lake Forest Park has about 100,000 tonnes of rubble in stacks up to 25 metres high from the wreckage caused by the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Initial estimates were that 4.25 million tonnes of rubble and 380,000 tonnes of silt would be recycled at the site, which was set up by the city council in March.
Civil Defence last month revised the estimates to 8 million tonnes of rubble and 500,000 tonnes of silt and sand.
EcoCentral, owned by the council's investment arm, is one of three joint-venture partners operating at Burwood.
General manager Robert Gerrie said 100,000 tonnes of rubble was already there, although the amount of material arriving had slowed since the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) took over the cleanup from Civil Defence.
The park covers one-eighth of the 845-hectare Bottle Lake Forest.
That really is an amazing photgraph; the digger and the trucks look like toys alongside the pile of debris, which is growing by the day.
But the good news is that it isn't going to stay there - read on:
"It's wholly designed to recycle it; to put the aggregate [broken-up concrete for construction], steel and glass and bits and pieces back into the Canterbury region as a recycled product," Gerrie said. "I imagine there's going to be quite a bit of aggregate reused when we start rebuilding."
It is thought it may take five or six years to recycle and sort all of the material being stored at the site.
Civil Defence director of planning and transition Baden Ewart said 2 million tonnes would come from inner-city deconstruction and demolition, 2 million tonnes from residential and suburban commercial areas and 4 million tonnes from repairs to roads and water and sewerage pipes. The target is to recycle 65 per cent of residential waste and 85 per cent of commercial waste.
Christchurch still has a long and tortuous journey ahead. It's good to know though that much of the debris collected is going to be able to be used as the city rebuilds.