King Kong props go underfoot...

FILM TO FLOORING:
Poly Palace owner Richard Moore recycles waste polystyrene, such as this tree prop and converts it into building materials including blocks and planks.
Photo by ANDREW GORRIE


Hundreds of cubic meters of polystyrene props used by Wellington's film industry are being recycled to develop the city's infrastructure.

Using recycled washing machine parts, dag crushers, roller blades, vacuums and scrap steel, Poly Palace owner Richard Moore built a waste polystyrene recycling plant beside Trash Palace at Porirua Landfill about two years ago.

In the three months before Christmas, a record 500 cubic meters of waste polystyrene was taken in - most coming from the props used in King Kong - and has been converted into "pod" flooring blocks and wooden floor insulation.

Recycled polystyrene from the plant is being used by Aspec Construction Wellington to build a raised walkway at the Cook Strait ferry terminal wharf, for Kaitaki passengers.

The product had also been selected for several other major developments planned for the city, Mr Moore said.

Building company Chevron Homes laid it's first pod floor in Levin in December. Another is being laid in Upper Hutt.

As well as converting polystyrene products into flooring blocks, planks and beads, Mr Moore re-uses post-industrial products such as large mattress and soap bags to transport the polystyrene.

The plant's two main recycling machines - a grinder and cutter - have been built from second-hand household and industrial machinery. Zero waste Australia has signaled that it wants to franchise the model once it is complete.

Kay Blundell