Industry News

Departments - Industry News

November 11, 2013

// Demolition Projects

ReVenture Park Seeks Recycling and Alternative Energy Businesses
Charlotte, N.C.-based Forsite Development has announced recent improvements at ReVenture Park aimed at attracting recycling businesses. ReVenture Park is a brownfield redevelopment of a 667-acre shuttered manufacturing complex in Charlotte to an “eco-industrial” park that is focused on attracting environmentally responsible businesses.

Forsite worked during the last year to complete the transformation of the existing buildings within ReVenture Park, including selective demolition and interior upgrades. The results have created nine buildings ranging in size from 8,000 to 80,000 square feet that are ready for occupancy. The goal with these improvements, the company says, is to make the facilities attractive to new and emerging recycling projects as well as alternative fuels and renewable energy technologies.

The existing infrastructure at ReVenture Park includes more than 300,000 square feet of industrial space with heavy-industrial zoning; 100 acres of outside storage; on-site wastewater treatment, tank farms, a process water plant, site-wide stormwater management, truck scales, heavy electrical infrastructure and fully fenced, 24-hour security. Many of the buildings have significant clear spans, tall ceilings and floor drains. The site also has a CSX rail spur with 36 railcar parking spots.

Low-cost heat and steam are other features of ReVenture Park. Forsite is under construction on a 1.4-megawatt biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The waste heat from the power plant can be made available to tenants as low-cost steam, hot water and hot air.

// Association Activities

NDA Names Environmental Excellence Awards Winners
At its 40th annual convention, the National Demolition Association (NDA), Doylestown, Pa., presented its Third Annual Environmental Excellence Awards to five companies that it says have performed demolition projects that demonstrate significant environmental conservation and community improvement while bringing about a discernible positive impact on the quality of life in the U.S. and Canada. They are:

NCM Demolition & Remediation: NCM is currently decommissioning Southern California Edison’s Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev. The power plant is a 1,580-megawatt, coal-fired electric generating station situated on 3,000 acres. The facility has 217 acres of storage ponds, evaporating ponds and a 300-acre landfill.

Bierlein Cos. Inc.: Bierlein Cos. partnered with AKT Peerless Environmental and Energy Services to perform environmental remediation and demolition services at the Downtown Saginaw Redevelopment Project in Saginaw, Mich. The scope of the project included the demolition of the eight-story Crowne Plaza Hotel and the adjacent 160,000-square-foot downtown Saginaw Mall.

Costello Dismantling Co.: During the demolition of the Plymouth Cordage Mill in Plymouth, Mass., Costello Dismantling was looking for innovative ways to recycle the building’s high-quality Southern Yellow Pine beams and structural decking that have been exposed to more than a century of saturation from mineral oil used to condition hemp fibers prior to rope manufacturing. The lumber was converted into 4,500 tons of biofuel.

EDS: EDS received a turnkey contract for the Gaspesia Pulp and Paper Mill, Chandler, Quebec, to dismantle and pack all process equipment; to perform the complete remediation of all contaminated materials; to remediate and decontaminate the entire site; to complete the demolition of all buildings and other structures on the site; and to recycle all of the structural steel and nonferrous metals on site, providing the local community with a remediated site and green area for park and golf course development.

PlanetReuse: Projects to increase the reuse of reclaimed materials include reusing 86,000 square feet of cypress, reclaimed hemlock, Douglas fir and pine/spruce in a Greensburg, Kan., school; using reclaimed material for the exterior walls of Kansas City, Mo.’s Kaufman Center of the Performing Arts and in bridges in Utah; 10,000 square feet of oak flooring from a Kansas City restaurant processed for reuse in two new retail projects; and a portion of President Barack Obama’s inauguration stage recycled into framing and walls for the Omega Institute for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

// Company News

Waste Management Closes Washington State C&D Plant
Waste Management (WM), based in Houston, has closed its construction and demolition (C&D) recycling facility in Auburn, Wash. Formerly Glacier Recycling, the facility was acquired by WM. The facility, which serviced customers throughout western Washington in King County, shuttered Sept. 20 because of slumping markets and a difficult regulatory environment, according to Robin Freedman, a spokeswoman for WM.

When WM purchased Glacier Recycling in 2010, “the marketplace was good. We undertook a number of upgrades in the area,” Freedman says. “Markets were strong. Unfortunately, market conditions have changed, so it doesn’t make financial sense to remain open.”

However, after completing the upgrades, the company determined that the improvements were not enough to satisfy local government officials. Additionally, the economic conditions in the area started to turn more unstable. Ultimately, this led WM to decide to close the facility.

One local report notes that the Environmental Health Services Division of Public Health for Seattle and King County sent WM a notice over several environmental issues at the facility.

With the company shuttering its C&D facility, WM says it is working with other recyclers in the area to take over the recycling of C&D material from the region.

// Company News

Advanced Disposal Opens Illinois Transfer Station
Advanced Disposal, headquartered in Ponte Vedra, Fla., has opened its newest transfer station in Rosco, Ill. The facility will service customers in the greater Rockford, Ill., area.

The company purchased the property, which includes an 18,000-square-foot building, a 3,000-square-foot office and a 10,700-square-foot building, in June 2013. The buildings had been idle since late 2012.

The facility will accept municipal solid waste, nonhazardous industrial waste, construction and demolition debris and single-stream recyclables from the public and third-party haulers. Recyclables will be shipped to area recyclers.

// Legislation & Regulations

Minnesota Agency Orders Demolition Following Landfill Violations
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has called for Vonco V Duluth LLC to perform demolition and site restoration following alleged violations it caused at a Minnesota facility.

Vonco V Duluth owns and operates a 75-acre landfill and transfer station complex in Duluth. Approximately 10 acres of the complex are permitted to accept construction and demolition debris.

In March 2012, Vonco’s consultants notified the MPCA that unpermitted wastes had been discovered in some samples taken at the landfill. Subsequent agency inspections discovered additional permit violations, including exposed asbestos, the company taking in unacceptable waste and a failure to conduct and report accurate facility inspections. The transfer station and landfill were temporarily closed in May and reopened after corrective actions were taken.

In August 2012, the agency learned that 6.25 tons of Vonco’s mixed municipal solid waste had been dumped at a private residence. Vonco immediately retrieved the waste and transported it to an appropriately permitted facility

In response to the violations, Vonco has agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty to resolve the violations and to conduct the following compliance activities: submit an application to modify its permit, install additional groundwater monitoring and landfill cover systems, communicate with its customers about wastes it is permitted to accept and make necessary permit amendments to reflect current property and facility ownership. Three of the required actions already have been completed.

In addition, Vonco will complete a $240,000 Supplemental Environmental Project to remove hazardous materials, demolish buildings, dispose of building materials and conduct site restoration at what could amount to about 20 blighted properties in Duluth.

The MPCA says it took into account how seriously the violations affected the environment, whether they were first-time or repeat violations and how promptly the violations were reported to authorities.

// Legislation & Regulations

Iowa Demolition Firm Fined for Asbestos Violations
Iowa’s District Court Judge Paul Miller has assessed an $80,000 civil penalty against the demolition firm Jai Santoshi Ma Inc. and its owner Bhupen Patel for violating state environmental laws during the demolition of a Williamsburg, Iowa, truck stop.

The penalty follows a petition, filed in April 2013 by Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller, against Patel and his corporation. The company had arranged to demolish the truck stop in 2012. Before beginning the demolition, the defendants allegedly failed to inspect for asbestos and notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

According to the state’s lawsuit, the defendants failed to remove the asbestos prior to the demolition; buried some demolition debris on site and sent other debris to a landfill for disposal without identifying the waste as containing asbestos; and left the debris in the open air for weeks without wetting it down to prevent the release of asbestos.

In addition to the civil penalty, the court ordered Patel and his company to refrain from further violations, identify and properly dispose of all asbestos-contaminated soil at the site and provide the state with related reports, test results and invoices.

// Mergers & Acquisitions

Alter Trading Acquires Columbus Metal Industries
Alter Trading Corp., St. Louis, has acquired Columbus Metal Industries (CMI), based in Nebraska. Alter says the acquisition will make it the largest metals recycling firm in Nebraska. With the addition of CMI, Alter Trading will have 10 collection and processing locations in Nebraska and 51 metal recycling facilities in the United States.

Jay Robinovitz, Alter president and chief operating officer, says, “The addition of the six CMI facilities strategically located along the I-80 corridor, including its two shredders, two auto parts facilities and its strong team of dedicated employees, makes this an excellent addition to Alter’s western region.”

// Legislation & Regulations

OSHA Launches Certificate Program for Public-Sector Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched “Public Sector Safety and Health Fundamentals,” a new certificate program that provides public-sector employees training on occupational safety and health to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in state and local governments.

The certificate program is available in construction and general industry. Students can choose from a variety of courses, including occupational safety and health standards for construction or general industry, safety and health management, accident investigation, fall hazard awareness and recordkeeping. To earn a certificate, participants must complete a minimum of seven courses, consisting of three required courses and additional elective courses, totaling at least 68 hours of in-class training.

OSHA has created a new Web page dedicated to this certificate program. The page provides course descriptions and prerequisites, program information and instructions on how to apply to the program.

The certificate program is administered by OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, which are nonprofit organizations authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training. All courses required to complete the program are available at OTI Education Centers nationwide. Students can use OSHA’s searchable course schedule to find training courses for the certificate program at Courses taken at different OTI Education Centers are transferrable and can count toward the certificate program.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for working men and women in the United States by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. More information is available at

// Green Building

Study Shows Growth in Green Building in Retail and Hospitality Sectors
Owners of retail and hotel establishments are reporting growing levels of green building activity planned over the next two years, according to a new report released by McGraw Hill Construction, New York, in partnership with Waste Management (WM), Houston, titled “Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report: Capitalizing on the Growth in Green Building Investments.” The report is based on a study of 79 retail, 30 hotel and 22 restaurant owners conducted in 2013 by McGraw Hill Construction.

The study defined a green building project as one built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or another recognized green building standard, or one that is energy-efficient, water-efficient and improves indoor air quality and/or engages in material resource conservation. Notably, by this definition, the percentage of retail owners that have taken a green approach in more than half of their building projects rose from 18 percent in 2011 to 38 percent this year and is expected to rise to 52 percent by 2015. Hotel owners show an even greater investment in green building—the percentage of those owners that have taken a green approach in more than half of their building projects rose from 28 percent in 2011 to 48 percent in 2013 and is projected to rise to 64 percent by 2015.

According to the study, owners also are committing to green operations and maintenance (O&M) practices, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of retail owners reporting high green O&M activity, and an even stronger 73 percent of hotel owners reporting the same.

Owners note strong business benefits from green building investments and green O&M practices, helping to drive this growth.

“Green building has taken such hold in the industry that even sectors with unique challenges, such as retail and hospitality, are making stronger investments,” says Harvey Bernstein, vice president, Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw Hill Construction.

While operating cost reductions are the most highly reported reason for going green, several other factors are considered highly important.

To download “Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report: Capitalizing on the Growth in Green Building Investments,” visit