Today, demolition workers were clearing the upper levels of the 10-storey, 142-room hotel including throwing television sets out of the open space that was once the wall of one of the rooms within the complex.

On the one hand, this sounds like amazing fun. Throw a TV out of the 8th floor of a hotel, without getting in trouble. In fact, you get paid for it. It’s your job. Go on. Throw another.

On the other hand, this is the obscene waste that is the rebuild. TVs – possibly, probably still working, are being hiffed out of windows, where they will presumably be swept up off the ground and sent to a landfill. Would it have been that hard to walk them to the lift, and send them away in one piece? Even if middle-class New Zealand has moved onto LCD and plasma TVs, I’m sure that a home could be found for them. If a home couldn’t be found, then we could at least take them apart, salvage the various elements in them, and send the recyclable bits to the appropriate places.

But no. Let’s just throw shit out windows. Let’s bowl over whole suburbs rather than uplift salvageable houses and shift them somewhere. The environmental cost of this quake is almost unfathomable, and it’s not even really being talked about.

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