‘Waste’ heads for a new life

The former Wodonga Highpoint and Manns buildings are being “dismantled”. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
The former Wodonga Highpoint and Manns buildings are being “dismantled”. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

BUILDING materials make up almost half of the landfill in Australia but one Border construction company is going green as it pulls down some well-known Wodonga retail buildings.

Joss Construction has begun dismantling the former Wodonga Highpoint store and Manns hardware and garden businessses to begin development of the Mann Centre which will include a supermarket and discount department store.

Site manager Clint Burgmann said the work was not a normal demolition job.

“We aren’t demolishing, we are dismantling and they are two very different things,” he said.

“Materials from the outside of the building like steel, aluminium, concrete and brick are being recycled.”

Mr Burgmann said the concrete and brick would be crushed to be reused as a road base for the development.

The steel and aluminium would be used elsewhere once recycled.

“We are dismantling the outside piece by piece and will recycle 90 per cent of what we take down,” he said.

The project is set to be completed by the end of March.

Workers began removing asbestos from the building on Tuesday, coinciding with this week’s heatwave.

Mr Burgmann said he hoped that part of the project would be completed today.

“But it’s an old building you don’t know what else you’ll come across,” he said.

“No doubt there will be more.”

Mr Burgmann said workers were trying to work around the hottest parts of the day.

“In the morning we do all the outside jobs and during the day we work on the inside,” he said.

“We’ve been starting at 6am and knocking off at 2.30pm and that’s about the best we can do to combat the heat but we’re buggered by the end of it.”

Mr Burgmann said the workers had been treating themselves to ice-creams and had bottles of water and coolers on site to help them cope with the heat.