Companies with waste origins reaffirm their commitment to more recycling and less land-filling of C&D materials.
The nation’s largest solid waste hauling and disposal companies diversified to include recycling activities a long time ago, and representatives from three of the largest such companies seemed to agree that there is no turning back.
During a session at the 2011 C&D Recycling Forum, held near Baltimore in late September, representatives of three large hauling and waste firms said the investments in C&D recycling that they have made point to the high priority that recycling has become within their companies.
Jim Halter, VP of Construction Solutions at Waste Management Inc., Houston, says the C&D materials stream provides approximately $500 million in revenue for the national company.
He said recycling those materials “has been worth the time and investment” and that sustainability is not a fad. “Companies did not drop their sustainability goals when the economy crashed,” said Halter. He also commented that while overall construction activity has decreased markedly in the past four years, there has been a three-fold to five-fold growth in “green retrofit” projects.
Halter said Waste Management currently operates 18 C&D recycling facilities and “works with dozens of other facilities and partners around the country” to recycled C&D materials.
Gary Dyke of Phoenix-based Republic Services Inc. offered attendees a long-distance tour of the company’s multi-million-dollar mixed C&D plant near downtown Chicago, which opened in 2008.
The facility uses conveyor belts, disc screens, personnel at sorting stations and a sink-float system to separate materials from each other and create a variety of end products. Wood, metal, cardboard, concrete, brick and block are among the materials harvested at the plant.
Dyke says the plant recycles approximately 90 percent of inbound material, a percentage that includes material prepared as landfill alternative daily cover (ADC).
The Sun Recycling division of Southern Waste Systems (SWS), Lantana, Fla., operates five mixed C&D recycling facilities in the Sunshine State. Sun Recycling Vice President and Director of Development Patti Hamilton noted that SWS company founder Anthony Lomangino was a pioneer in C&D recycling in the Northeast before starting his Florida companies in 1999.
“C&D materials are environmentally sound and highly recyclable,” is the message Hamilton says Sun Recycling has consistently broadcast to haulers and contractors in south Florida.
She said the company’s West Palm Beach mixed C&D plant has just a 7 percent residue rate and that the secondary commodities produced at Sun Recycling’s plants “are valuable and sought after in the marketplace.”
According to Hamilton, the company has processed and found end markets for some 3 million cubic yards of C&D materials in the past few years, but it has the capacity to do more. She said because of the depressed construction sector, the plants are operating at just 50 to 60 percent of capacity.
The 2011 C&D Recycling Forum was Sept. 25-27 at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City, Md.