5 questions on soil and materials recovery

Custom Content - Ask the experts: CDE

Joseph Teahl, business development manager at CDE, answers common questions on soil and materials recovery.

May 5, 2022

1. What type of waste materials can CDE’s wet processing plants work with?

Joseph Teahl Business Development Manager CDE

The short answer is nearly everything. The systems can accept contaminated soil, as well as traditional excavation waste and, of course, materials produced during demolition and highway repaving and reconstruction processes. I think the most impressive work we do is with contaminated soils, because they can contain anything, including VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, hydrocarbons like oil, and even many heavy metals. Our process can separate and isolate those materials, so they don’t go into our regenerated soils, sands and aggregates.

2. Do recycled sand and aggregates meet the spec demands for the construction industry?

Our systems produce materials that give plant operators great options. Size-classified materials can meet specifications for markets ranging from road sub-base to gravel to concrete and asphalt aggregate and even down to manufactured sands. We work with plant operators so that as long as we have the desired or mandated spec in hand, and as long as that material can be found in the inbound material, our system will be set up to handle it and meet that specification.

3. How is CDE’s technology helping to reduce carbon footprints?

The carbon reduction impact of a system like ours is tremendous. Whether we’re regenerating aggregates, soil or sand, we most often are doing so near where the end-of-life materials are being generated. This alone saves the fuel and emissions of hundreds if not thousands of truck trips. Our regenerated materials are likely being produced in an urban area and can be used nearby. This saves thousands of lengthier truck trips from distant quarries or sand mines. And the icing on the cake: all the emissions and virgin rock that is saved by substituting recycled materials for quarrying and sand dredging activity.

4. We are running out of virgin sand and the demand for it will increase significantly over the next decades – what are CDE’s plans to develop their waste recycling market in the U.S.?

There are markets in the U.S. where sand is selling for $40 per ton, and even in markets where it is more present and affordable, very few new sand mines or pits are receiving permits. In the high-cost markets, our plants are already a home run. That number of markets where regenerated sand is cost-effective is only going to rise. Our technology doesn’t replace the mining of virgin sand, instead it preserves it as a precious resource for use in the specialist applications that need it most.

5. What are the most frequent concerns from customers when it comes to recycled products and what would you tell them?

I don’t hear about too many quality concerns, and we make it clear products coming from our plants are truly regenerated. We’re not changing the molecular structure of sand or rocks, we’re just scrubbing it and then reclassifying it. Our customers in states and countries with strict regulations do plenty of testing, and their materials are on par with virgin materials in meeting strict parts-per-million standards.