// Legislation & regulations
OSHA fines New York recycler for heat-related death
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cooper Tank & Welding Corp., dba Cooper Tank Recycling, for eight serious health and safety violations following the heat-related death of an employee at its Brooklyn, N.Y., recycling facility.
Kay Gee, OSHA’s area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, N.Y., says, “This was a needless and preventable loss of life. This employer failed to train workers and implement safeguards that could have protected them from excessive heat conditions. Workers were also exposed to potentially fatal injuries from falls, electrocution and unguarded operating machine parts.”
On July 19, 2013, the worker had been working for several hours on a conveyor line, sorting and recycling construction and demolition debris. The worker later suffered from heat illness and died. Workers were exposed to excessive ambient heat stemming from environmental sources and the heat generated by recycling machinery, according to OSHA. The agency’s investigation found that the company failed to inform and train workers on the recognition, prevention and treatment of heat-related illnesses and did not provide temperature controls in the work area or implement a work/rest regimen.
// Legislation & regulations
Proposed EPA amendment makes allowances for C&D wood in boilers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) proposed rule, expanding the list of materials that are recognized as “non-waste fuels” to include processed construction and demolition (C&D) wood, paper recycling residuals and creosote-treated railroad ties.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, D.C., and the American Wood Council (AWC), Leesburg, Va., released a joint statement. They say by allowing paper and wood products, manufacturing facilities are one step closer to having the needed assurance that the fuels can be used in industrial boilers rather than disposed of through incineration or landfill.
“We welcome EPA’s listing of paper recycling residuals and railroad ties as fuels, which provide substantial energy value to our facilities,” says Donna Harmon, AF&PA president and CEO. “On average, about two-thirds of the energy we use is produced on-site from renewable biomass, and these additions help reduce our reliance on nonrenewable fuel sources.”
Manufacturing facilities rely on the NHSM listing to determine whether they are regulated under EPA’s boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule or under the agency’s commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators rule. AF&PA and AWC say they will carefully review the details of the proposal and provide additional information during the comment period to support and potentially expand the proposed listings.
A link to the prepublication version of the proposed rule amendment is available at www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/define/pdfs/nhsm-proposed-amendments-prepub.pdf.
// Company news
TAM Waste Management looks to build C&D recycling facility in Vermont
TAM Waste Management, based in Shaftsbury, Vt., is seeking approval to build and operate a construction and demolition recycling facility in Pownal, located in the southwestern part of Vermont. The company presently hauls solid waste and operates a transfer station for various types of material.
The company has been in business for 17 years and services customers throughout Vermont as well as parts of New York and Massachusetts. In addition to the transfer station, the company opened a composting site late last year.
Trevor Mance, founder and owner of TAM, says that opening a C&D facility is the “last frontier” for the company. Along with C&D, any new facility also would look to be able to run municipal solid waste over a potential dual stream facility. The facility would sit on nine acres and would be able to handle around 60,000 tons per year of material. All of the processing would take place indoors.
The building itself would be 12,000 square feet. Mance notes the growing need for a facility to handle C&D materials, especially with a recently enacted law that bans C&D from landfills in the state.
The company needs approval from local, regional and state agencies to build the facility.
// Company news
Alberta city chooses SENA Waste Services to operate waste management facilities
The city of Edmonton, Alberta, has contracted with SENA Waste Services on a five-year agreement worth approximately $75 million to operate and maintain two key portions of the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.
Under the new agreement, SENA Waste Services will maintain and operate the Edmonton Composting Facility (ECF) and provide maintenance support services for the Integrated Process and Transfer Facility (IPTF) and the Construction & Demolition (C&D) Facility. SENA Solid Waste Holdings Inc., an Alberta-based corporation, is a joint venture between Suez Environnement North America and AECO.
“This selection represents an important milestone that clearly demonstrates SENA Waste Services is well-regarded by the city of Edmonton, which is one of world’s most sustainable cities,” says Bertrand Camus, CEO of Suez Environnement North America.
SENA Waste Services and its predecessor companies have worked with the city of Edmonton since 2001. According to Philippe Allouche, general manager, SENA Waste Services, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre is a unique collection of advanced waste processing and research facilities.
Owned and operated by the city of Edmonton Waste Management Services, the center is considered North America’s largest collection of modern, sustainable waste processing and research facilities.
“In just over 20 years, Edmonton has traveled from a relatively simple waste management system to one of the most sophisticated in the world,” says Bud Latta, director, processing and disposal, Edmonton Waste Management Services. “We are proud of our accomplishments and excited to partner with SENA Waste Services in bringing innovative solutions to the residents and businesses of Edmonton.”
The IPTF maintained by SENA Waste Services allows the separation of waste into three categories: organics for composting; waste for landfill; and waste for conversion to ethanol at the on-site Waste-to-Biofuels Facility.
The C&D Facility recycles wood, drywall, asphalt shingles, concrete, metals and brush and trees. The ECF, operated and maintained by SENA Waste Services, composts organic solid waste and biosolids and is the largest composting facility in Canada.
According to Latta, the city of Edmonton currently diverts up to 60 percent of household waste from landfill through recycling and composting. The organic portion of the household waste is sorted out and composted.
“Our waste diversion success is the result of effective, early strategic planning and now solid operational execution,” Latta says. “SENA Waste Services has become an important part of those operations and plays a key role in our successes.”
“By making recovery a priority development focus, Suez Environnement has gradually become a producer of renewable energy and a leader in resource management,” says Marie-Ange Debon, deputy CEO in charge of international business at Suez Environnement. “The circular economy is at the heart of our strategy and today we bring our clients much more than waste treatment services; we offer them renewable solutions as demonstrated by the exemplary case of Edmonton.”
// Association activities
CDRA honors 2014 industry award winners
The Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA), Aurora, Ill., has announced the organization’s 2014 industry award honorees.
CDRA is a national trade organization that promotes the safe recycling of the more than 350 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition (C&D) materials generated annually in the United States. The 2014 awards were presented at C&D World, the annual meeting of the CDRA, March 5 in Las Vegas.
The award recipients include:
- CDRA Member of the Year – Gary Sondermeyer, Bayshore Recycling, Keasbey, N.J. The CDRA Member of the Year is selected based on extraordinary service to the mission of the organization and the C&D recycling industry throughout the previous 12-month period.
- C&D Recycler of the Year – SWS/Sun Recycling, Davie, Fla. The C&D Recycler of the Year honors those recycling operations in the C&D recycling industry who have made an extraordinary contribution overall to the industry.
- CDRA President’s Award – Armstrong World Industries, Lancaster, Pa., and Southwind RAS, Bartlett, Ill. The CDRA President’s Award recognizes companies for excellence and innovation in C&D recycling.
- 2014 C&D Recycling Hall of Fame Honoree – Ted “Tadj” Ondrick, Ted Ondrick Construction, Chicopee, Mass. This award recognizes an individual’s long-time work, innovation and support of both the C&D recycling industry and the CDRA.
“We are delighted to recognize all who have made a commitment to the recycling industry and their communities,” said Valerie Montecalvo, CDRA president. “It is because of their commitment to the environment [that] our country is able to move to a more sustainable future.”
// Association activities
National Demolition Association recognizes top environmental projects
The National Demolition Association (NDA), through its Fourth Annual Environmental Excellence Awards, highlighted the successes of 13 companies, who have permitted demolition projects that demonstrate significant environmental conservation and community improvement. Winners were recognized during the NDA 41st Annual Convention in Las Vegas. The winning projects are the following:
Armstrong Industries’ ceiling recycling program – The Lancaster, Pa.-based company’s nationwide ceiling recycling program is the first of its kind in the ceiling industry, according to the company. The goal of the recycling project is to reduce the environmental impact of new buildings while they are still on the drawing boards. Since its inception in 1999, the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program has recycled more than 123 million square feet of ceiling materials.
Merck Flint River Plant demolition and remediation, Albany, Ga. – Brandenburg Industrial Service, Chicago, cleaned up environmental hazards on the 100-acre site, enabling future development. Brandenburg subcontracted O’Brien & Gere for the demolition, asbestos abatement and environmental remediation of the plant. Work included the demolition and disposal of more than 5,000 tons of hazardous concrete, more than 10,000 gallons of impacted water, incineration of 200 tons of hazardous sludge, decontamination of all equipment, removal of all underground utilities, demolition of the main wastewater treatment plant and the crushing of more than 25,000 tons of concrete and asphalt to be used as on-site fill. In addition, Brandenburg removed tons of contaminated block and asphalt.
Worcester Clock Tower historic reuse, Worcester, Mass. – Through the project, Costello Dismantling, Wareham, Mass., was able to deconstruct the 65-foot historic clock tower built in 1877 at the former Worcester State Hospital by hand, cataloging each piece so that the tower could be rebuilt in a different location on the site. Following the meticulous dismantlement of the clock tower by Costello, it will relocate on-site as part of the new $300 million, 300-bed Worcester Recovery Center & Hospital.
Dust Control Program for Doyle Drive removal, San Francisco – Dust Control Technology (DCT), Peoria, Ill., developed a model to control dust in large projects. With a 57-hour window for project completion, DCT developed a comprehensive dust suppression plan using eight large-scale atomized misting machines to prevent all visible dust from the project area. The Doyle Drive project was a model for large-scale, open-area demolition dust control, which demonstrated the effectiveness of atomized mist technology.
Demolition at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis – During Savage, Minn.-based Lloyd’s Construction Services’ selective demolition of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, the company was able to showcase the reuse of materials from the project by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillagas that served as a model on how to effectively find outlets for seemingly unwanted materials.
Hunters Point Naval Shipyard demolition and remediation, San Francisco – For the demolition of the shipyard, Tetra Tech, Pasadena, Calif., developed a unique U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sampling method, which allowed for a two-day turnaround that produced defensible radiological data using gamma spectrometry. The turnaround sped up the remediation of radiologically contaminated structures and equipment on-site. In all, Tetra Tech demolished nine major buildings and structures, 850 feet of railroad track, 700 cubic yards of asphalt, 350 cubic yards of concrete and 1,525 feet of sanitary and drainage and sewer lines.
Chemical weapons facility decontamination, Anniston, Ala. – Using high-pressure Nitrocision technology, URS Corp., San Francisco, and Spirtas Wrecking, St. Louis, decontaminated the ANCDF Chemical Weapons facility. The decontamination technique used kept thousands of tons of scrap metal out of landfills. The technology used pressured liquid nitrogen to remove up to one-half inch of internal concrete surfaces that had come in contact with various chemical agents. The effort allowed the recycling of thousands of tons of steel, copper and other alloys rather than disposing of them as hazardous waste.
Chemical manufacturing facility decommissioning and demolition – Performed by Adamo Demolition Co., Detroit; Bierlein Companies, Midland, Mich.; Louisiana Chemical & Demolition, Kenner, La.; Ontario Specialty Contracting, Buffalo, N.Y.; and Winter Environmental, Norcross, Ga.; the project highlighted industry teamwork, safety standards and commitment to environmental stewardship. Since early 2012, general contractor CH2M Hill has orchestrated a project team with the aforementioned companies to decommission and demolish facility units and associated infrastructure deemed obsolete or outmoded. The project team worked safely to decommission, demolish and recycle more than 15,750 tons of ferrous and nonferrous metals and has expended more than 240,000 man hours while maintaining an excellent record of safety and environmental compliance.
More information on the NDA and the winners of this year’s program can be obtained by visiting www.demolitionassociation.com.
// Deconstruction projects
Deconstruction gaining toehold in Detroit
A handful of determined deconstruction companies are attempting to salvage what they can from Detroit’s portfolio of some 80,000 abandoned homes, according to a March Detroit Free Press article.
Deconstruction advocates in the city include the nonprofits EcoWorks agency and Reclaim Detroit. Detroit has set a goal of demolishing or dismantling some 80,000 homes within its borders in a six-year span.
The crews from Reclaim Detroit remove salvageable lumber and resell the wood or make products such as kitchen cutting boards, bookcases or tables.
// Association activities
ISRI upgrades scrap theft website
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., has announced a redesign and upgrade to ScrapTheftAlert.com. ISRI says the website allows law enforcement (and certain corporate security personnel) to post alerts that are sent to users within a 100-mile radius of the theft location.
“ScrapTheftAlert.com is a proven tool in helping law enforcement fight metals theft,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Through our work with law enforcement partners, ISRI received feedback on how to improve the system. The result is a more robust alert system that will further strengthen the cooperation between police and recyclers during theft investigations and lead to additional arrests. The new system is an example of the recycling industry’s strong commitment to preventing metals theft,” she adds.
The newly redesigned ScrapTheftAlert.com offers the following features:
- an easier user interface for registering and submitting alerts;
- the ability to select multiple locations to receive alerts;
- enhanced customizable search capabilities by material, region, date and keywords;
- extractable search results;
- additional materials categories, including vehicles, batteries and cargo theft;
- increased capacity for downloading additional images and information;
- the ability to post success stories; and
- the capability for future expansion.
ISRI says the upgraded site is part of a comprehensive approach it is taking to address metals theft. Earlier this year, ISRI announced the creation of the Law Enforcement Advisory Council made up of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and security personnel who are tasked with the development of a multilayered training program to assist law enforcement in metals theft prevention.
// Financing & grants
Ohio awards $4 million in demo grants
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has awarded more than $3.8 million in additional demolition grants to 87 Ohio counties. The additional grants were a reallocation of unrequested funds from the Ohio Attorney General’s Moving Ohio Forward Program.
“The Ohio Attorney General’s Moving Ohio Forward Program has been successful in helping the many Ohioans who were victims of neighborhood blight caused by the foreclosure crisis,” says DeWine. “By demolishing abandoned, blighted homes, we have been making a real effort to help stabilize neighborhoods and remove public safety hazards.”
The Moving Ohio Forward Program is designed to stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached in 2012. The demolition program requires that a lead entity, such as a land bank or local government, apply for the funds on behalf of each Ohio county.
DeWine designated $75 million of Ohio’s settlement share for the demolition program, allocating funds to each of Ohio’s 88 counties based upon the percentage of foreclosures that occurred in that county between 2008 and 2010, the period of the settlement.
In Phase I, counties were required to provide matching funds for any grant above $500,000. However, the attorney general’s office says several counties did not apply for their full allocation, leaving $3.8 million in unrequested funds.
For Phase II grants, DeWine has reallocated the unrequested funds based upon the same formula as the original allocations, with each county receiving a minimum of $7,800 for the demolition of at least one more blighted structure. Counties that did not use their full allocation in Phase I of the grants were given the opportunity to request funds from their unused allocation to fund specific demolition projects. Warren County was the only county that declined additional grant funding.
// Concrete & aggregates
New asphalt recognition program to emphasize recycling
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), Lanham, Md., has announced that asphalt plants earning their Diamond Achievement Commendation now have an option to pursue an additional Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation.
The expanded commendation requires plant operators to understand the use of recycled materials, to quantify and control energy use and emissions, and to articulate a corporate sustainability plan. NAPA says these steps are part of the process of assessing “the social, economic and environmental efforts of an asphalt production facility to gauge how well it puts the principles of sustainability and community engagement into action.”
NAPA’s Diamond Achievement program was created in 1999 to recognize asphalt plants that met or exceeded national best practices for operations, environmental practices, safety, permitting and regulatory compliance and community relations.
In addition to recycling, emissions and energy, the new commendation also covers issues ranging from noise and light pollution to volunteer programs. Plants must first qualify for a Diamond Achievement Commendation before seeking the new commendation.
The 2014 Diamond Commendation began accepting applications, including its new Diamond Achievement Sustainable Commendation, on April 1, 2014.
// Demolition projects
Cross Environmental lands contract with Florida DOT
Cross Environmental Services, a subsidiary of CES Synergies Inc., headquartered in Crystal Springs, Fla., has received a contract and has begun to provide remediation and demolition services on a corridor extension for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The company says the contract is valued at more than $1 million with an anticipated duration of 18 months.
The project requires abatement of asbestos containing material (ACM) and the demolition of commercial structures extending into the right of way for the proposed expansion of State Road 7 in Broward County in southern Florida.
// Legislation & regulations
EPA OKs use of coal ash in concrete, wallboard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of encapsulated coal combustion residuals (CCR or coal ash): for use in concrete as a substitute for portland cement and the use of flue gas desulfurization gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard.
The EPA says that its evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated CCRs in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because they are comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks. The EPA adds that the two uses account for nearly half of the total amount of coal ash that is beneficially used.
“The protective reuse of coal ash advances sustainability by saving valuable resources, reducing costs and lessening environmental impacts, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
// Company news
Cherry opens seventh stabilized materials plant
Cherry Companies, a recycling and demolition company based in Houston, has announced the opening of its newest stabilized materials plant. The stabilized material plant will produce stabilized sand (used for backfill and bedding) and recycled road-base material.
The new facility is located in Spring, Texas, north of Houston, and is the seventh such plant operated by the company. It is expected to produce about 500,000 tons of stabilized material per year. With the newest plant, Cherry says it has a combined production capacity of nearly 2 million tons of material throughout the Houston area.
“North Houston primarily has been an untapped market for the company,” says John Conyer, manager of Cherry’s Stabilized Materials Division. “There is significant economic and infrastructure expansion in the area and we intend to grow alongside this market.”
He continues, “We’re adding experienced operators from within Cherry and other new managers recruited from the industry to benefit us in this exciting company expansion.”
// Legislation & regulations
Florida DEP files complaint against demolition firm
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has filed a complaint in Florida state court in Escambia County against Pensacola, Fla.-based Maverick Demolition Inc. for significant asbestos related violations involving a demolition project in Pensacola.
Following multiple inspections beginning last year, the DEP says it determined the activities to be in violation of rules and laws related to the demolition of material containing asbestos. In total, the DEP is seeking penalties for five violations related to removal, emissions control and disposal of “regulated asbestos containing material.”
“The Department of Environmental Protection takes our role of protecting public health and the environment seriously, and we are committed to making sure the regulated community complies with our laws and rules,” says Brian Accardo, director of the DEP’s Division of Air Resource Management. “When businesses take actions that are calculated or careless, and potentially harmful to the environment, we will pursue formal enforcement and seek appropriate penalties.”
In this case, the DEP is asking the court for maximum penalties, which could exceed $500,000. The DEP issued a Compliance Assistance Offer Letter and, when the company failed to cooperate, the DEP says it issued a subsequent Warning Letter. Additionally, the DEP says it is consulting with law enforcement officials to determine if criminal action is warranted.
The Florida DEP Division of Air Resource Management administers an asbestos removal program under Chapter 62-257, Florida Administrative Code. The program’s intent is to prevent the release of asbestos fibers to the outside air during demolition or renovation activities. The program requires prior notification to the DEP on the removal of threshold amounts of asbestos from certain types of facilities.
The DEP says it strives to help businesses understand and adhere to Florida’s rules and regulations, and to minimize the possibility of environmental harm. However, when Florida’s laws and the DEP’s efforts to assist with compliance are disregarded, formal enforcement action is initiated. Here, violations in the management of hazardous material have led to the DEP filing an official civil complaint in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial Circuit.
According to DEP, a case like this is rare, and the vast majority of the nearly 75,000 facilities regulated by the DEP are in compliance. In 2013, facilities considered in significant compliance with DEP rules and regulations rose to 96 percent, a two percent increase from 2012. DEP says record compliance numbers are a result of significant education and outreach efforts over the last two years. In 2013 alone, DEP staff participated in 7,494 education and outreach events, reaching more than 86,700 people.
// Demolition projects
Court order halts demo project in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has announced the owner of a former paper mill site in Lawrence, Mass., has been prohibited by a court order from conducting what she terms illegal demolition and metal salvaging that releases asbestos at the property.
The attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against David Padellaro and his now defunct company, Merrimack Street Redevelopment Authority LLC, for alleged violations of the state’s asbestos and hazardous materials laws at the former Merrimack Paper facility.
The court order issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Padellaro from conducting further work at the property unless necessary for the authorized demolition of unsafe buildings that have been damaged by a series of fires. The city of Lawrence has issued demolition orders for several buildings at the site. “This site has put workers and the public at risk,” Coakley says.
Kenneth Kimmell, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), says, “Mr. Padellaro has willfully ignored MassDEP’s enforcement actions and exposed workers and potentially others to a public safety hazard and an unnecessary environmental risk.”
The property was acquired by Padellaro in 2010 and contains several vacant and structurally unsound and asbestos-containing buildings that have been repeatedly subject to fire and vandalism, many of which are in danger of potential collapse. The site also has been subject to several releases of oil and hazardous materials, says MassDEP.
MassDEP maintains that despite the issuance of two administrative orders by the agency and repeated warnings of the risks to his workers, Padellaro continued metal salvaging operations without implementing legally required safety measures. According to the complaint, Padellaro also allowed the illegal storage of materials at the site. The court order has halted all demolition and salvage work at the site, with the exception of a MassDEP-approved plan to finish demolition of fire-damaged buildings.
// Conferences & events
Renewable Energy from Waste Conference heads to San Jose, Calif.
The Recycling Today Media Group, publisher of Construction & Demolition Recycling and Renewable Energy from Waste magazines, together with Smithers Apex and Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc., have announce the dates and location for the second Renewable Energy From Waste (REW) Conference.
Following the overwhelming success of the 2013 event, the REW Conference has been firmly established as the premier event for the rapidly developing and dynamic waste conversion industry. This year, the city of San Jose, Calif., will serve as the host for the event, taking place Nov. 17-20, 2014, at the Doubletree by Hilton.
The REW Conference brings together those operating a wide range of waste conversion technologies, including gasification, anaerobic digestion and refuse-derived fuel to discuss everything from the economics of waste conversion, operational advice and case studies to the legislative climate for conversion technologies. This diverse program is augmented by tours of San Jose’s world-class waste processing and conversion facilities, as The Newby Island Resource Recovery Park and Zero Waste Energy Development Co. (ZWEDC) open their doors to REW Conference delegates.
“The city of San Jose’s Environmental Services Department is both honored and excited to serve as the host community for the conference,” says Environmental Services Deputy Director Jo Zientek, who oversaw San Jose’s overhaul of its commercial waste system, leading to a tripling of its commercial recycling rate. “We can count on the REW Conference to facilitate the information exchange that helps those of us in the waste management community learn from each other and become more successful in our endeavors. We look forward to working with the REW team on the conference and to showcasing world-class waste recovery facilities in San Jose.”
Visit www.REWConference.com for more information.