Housing

This man's house is literally rubbish

Angus Carnie has found a unique solution to Britain's housing crisis. He built a one-bedroom cabin from waste destined for landfill

Britain is in the grip of a housing crisis, with a chronic lack of affordable accommodation and spiralling rent. But one man has come up with a solution that is literally rubbish.

Angus Carnie, 55, built a one-bedroom cabin in his native Carnoustie, near Dundee, from waste destined for landfill. The walls are made of ‘logs’ manufactured from compressed shredded plastic. The foundations are built with plastic hospital bed sheets turned into blocks. The cabin is insulated with photocopier toner cartridges shredded into fibre, with the ink used to paint it. Waterproof, light and durable plasterboard is manufactured from waste plastic.

“Everything used to be something else,” Carnie says. “I was particularly keen to use materials that were going to end up in landfill or be disposed in an expensive manner.”

“I wanted to create a social home,” he continues. “It’s very difficult in certain parts of the country to get on the housing ladder.”

Waste plastic is increasingly viable as a building material. Colombian architect Oscar Mendez has been building housing in Bogota from recycled plastic, while a hospital in Newport is recycling used plastic hospital bed sheets into sterile building blocks, saving £864 a month by reducing the waste sent to landfill.

So rubbish housing like Angus’ cabin could be an affordable future for housing and solve the problem of plastic waste.

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