Recycling in the Office Fit Out Process
In all of Symmetry Commercial’s construction, fit out, demolition, strip out and make good services, key steps are taken to ensure that waste is minimized. The main focus is aimed at delivering projects that are safe and sustainable; using the highest occupational health and safety standards by employing well trained staff, and using quality materials in construction whilst recycling waste. From the demolition projects, 90% of the waste generated is recycled. Symmetry Commercial is proud to work with Konstruct Environmental to achieve this high level of efficiency.
Working with Konstruct Environmental
Starting business in 2007 with only two trucks out of a small factory in Kensington, Konstruct Environmental has quickly risen to be the largest recycling and waste management business in Victoria. With over 30 staff and projects spanning from the Crown Metropol Hotel to the Royal Childrens’ Hospital, they aim to recycle every possible waste type produced and convert it into re-usable material. Symmetry Commercial chose to work with Konstruct to recycle the materials obtained through the fit out and demolition process because we felt that their “four pillars” aligned very much to our own core values.
Konstruct’s four pillars are:
- To recycle every possible waste type produced and report on its end use accurately.
- To offer outstanding customer service at a cost effective price.
- To continually listen to what external and internal customers say and unequivocally meet their needs.
- To always maintain a safe, sustainable and environmentally conscious workplace.
At Symmetry Commercial, we believe accountability to be very important and offer certification at the end of each project for audits. Examples of materials collected from Symmetry Commercial’s fit out and demolition process include plaster, steel, aluminium, glass and electrical wiring. These materials are then sorted at approved waste sorting facilities and what the materials are recycled into are detailed in a monthly report.
Quality materials with minimal impact on the environment
Symmetry Commercial uses low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints when finishing office fit outs in order to reduce the harmful vapors not only to the environment, but also to humans. Many chemicals that VOCs emit are harmful to humans who breathe in chemicals from the vapors such as Formaldehyde and Benzene. Paint with less than 250 grams of VOCs per liter is considered low-VOC paint, and while healthier, costs 20-80% more than regular paint. Along with using low VOC paint, Symmetry Commercial also recommends good ventilation for offices as well.
Another way we try to minimise our impact on the environment is by having all lighting safely collected and recycled. A variety of lamp types in Australia require mercury to operate, and the higher the power usage, the more mercury that is required to operate the lamp. If this mercury enters the environment, serious repercussions can be felt. The mercury contained in one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water.
In addition to being safely treated to ensure no mercury enters the environment, the tubes and globes are sorted for recyclable parts. For example, materials such as the aluminium parts, glass and phosphor powder can be reused.
Question: Do you have any recycling tips you'd like to share with us?