Renew 149: recycling special out now!

This issue we dig deep into a couple of waste management issues. Construction waste is a big issue, accounting for about 30% of Australia’s waste. The good news is that recycling rates for this waste stream are rising, but there’s still much more to be done to reduce the wastage that comes from off-cuts, packaging (a surprisingly large part of the waste problem) and demolished materials. Designing for deconstruction is a part of the solution too, enabling much more recycling and reuse at a building’s end of life.

We also look at solar PV and battery recycling, both in their infancy, but regulations are being set in place as companies work out the logistics. We visit a ‘plant rescue’ nursery, where, while we’re there, a customer comes in to give excess orchid plants from their garden to the nursery. And finally, we look into a growing movement towards sustainable hairdressing salons, as an organisation sets about collecting used foils, packaging materials, hair and other salon waste, and finds recycling streams for it.

A big feature this issue is our first-ever cladding buyers guide. The guide is an introduction to cladding options, from weatherboards to chamferboards (just another type of weatherboard) to modern fibre-cement sheet, Corten steel and more. Aesthetics are a big part of the equation, as is cladding’s weatherproofing role, but we also consider selection based on maintenance requirements and the sustainability of the materials. Plus we have four case studies illuminating the cladding choices made by households and designers.

In a ‘post-winter wrap’, two households have tracked the efficiency and comfort of different heating systems over several years and can now present their results. One household started with no heating, then moved to far infrared, then to split system air conditioning. Another household has both hydronic and air con systems installed. The results are interesting!

We also give advice on buying efficient and long-lasting appliances, analyse how to offset EV energy use, look at the off-grid implications of solar PV oversizing, present a DIY on insulating cathedral ceilings—plus much more.

Next issue is our 150th! Following on from Lance’s 100th issue, it begins a year of significant birthdays—Renew’s 40th year and Sanctuary magazine’s 50th issue. We’d like to hear your Renew stories as part of the celebrations; see for details.

You can buy a copy in our shop – with free shipping until end of October.