Quarrying faces some of the toughest environmental control regimes of any industry. That’s in part because while New Zealanders need and use huge volumes of aggregate they often oppose quarries, especially in urban or semi-urban areas. Yet, quarries are not the noisy or dirty neighbours many people perceive.

And for the first 30km that aggregate needs to be trucked doubles its cost - and costs continue to rise for every further km travelled. Click Here to read The Tyranny of Distance.

The New Zealand aggregate industry, led by AQA members, has done worked over recent years to minimise the impact of quarrying on the environment and on neighbours. The Resource Management Act transformed how quarries are both consented and operated, allowing greater public participation in the planning process and requiring an integrated approach to managing effects.

Common requirements include detailed environmental impact assessments, investment in more technically advanced equipment, extensive landscaping and screen planting, strict limits on noise and dust and even new roads to overcome traffic problems. Rehabilitation plans are now usually required. Former quarries often become parks, wetlands or recreational facilities. Mt Smart stadium – sited on a former quarry – is one of many examples of a former quarry restored for community use. Click Here to read Working Quarries protecting the Environment.

The AQA is committed to encouraging its members to minimise environmental impact while promoting continual improvement in sustainable environmental performance. Download the AQA Environmental and Community Policy Click Here. The AQA endorse the recycling of concrete and aggregates as environmentally and financially responsible use of New Zealand's resources. The AQA has produced Best Practice Guidelines for the quality production and use of recycled aggregate, specifications that parallel international standards but adopt the New Zealand GAP standards. Click Here to read Recycled Best Practice.
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