UK project leads to 90 percent recycling rate

UK project leads to 90 percent recycling rate

Hughes & Salvidge make recycling a priority in 54-acre dismantling and demolition project.

January 11, 2019

United Kingdom-based Hughes & Salvidge says it achieved a greater than 90 percent recycling rate in the demolition of a 54-acre industrial campus that formerly housed a synthetic rubber facility. The plant, once operated by Versalis Polimeri Europa, was idled in 2014.

Hughes & Salvidge was appointed as principal contractor for the abatement, decommissioning and demolition of much of the 54-acre site in Hythe, U.K., after a bidding process.

The scope of work on the project included the removal and disposal of asbestos; the removal of process and storage equipment; the demolition of all buildings and structural steel; the removal of wiring, piping and all above-ground concrete structures; and the cleaning, removal and disposal of all tanks and vessels onsite.

The company says its method and approach to the project included splitting the site into separate zones with demolition and dismantling “gangs” assigned to each area. The approach supported the continued business activity of Versalis on the live site and gave Hughes & Salvidge the opportunity to minimize the project length by overlapping the areas being demolished at any one time, according to the firm.

In terms of recycling, Hughes & Salvidge undertook what it calls a systematic approach to ensure that a recycling rate of more than 90 percent was achieved, despite there being considerable volumes of rubber and asbestos to be removed from the site.

In total, more than 16,500 metric tons of metal was harvested for recycling. The metal was segregated and sorted onsite then transferred to the company’s H&S Metals in-house metal recycling facility for processing.

In addition, 10,000 cubic meters (13,000 cubic yards) of concrete was crushed and used as backfill at the site. Crushing the concrete onsite offered “a range of environmental, logistical and financial benefits,” says Hughes & Salvidge.

According to the firm, crushing onsite reduced pollution by minimizing truck traffic to and from the site; it kept concrete debris out of landfill; and it reduced the aggregate needed to be brought in by providing a ready-made base material for future development. The crushing was carried out by another Hughes & Salvidge subsidiary, K&B Crushers.

Hughes & Salvidge says the in-house recycling services offered its client Versalis “a complete turnkey solution, which represented significant cost savings, ensuring maximum value for money for materials.”

The nature of the synthetic rubber manufacturing history of the site meant the “management and control of environmental risks [were] heightened” on the project, according to the demo firm. The environmental risks on the project were further increased because of the proximity of marshland and the Southampton Water tidal estuary.

An Environmental Management Plan was produced to ensure the impact on the environment was carefully considered, controlled and kept to an absolute minimum, according to Hughes and Salvidge.

The company’s environmental control measures included:

  • erecting full height access/protection scaffolding clad with netting on specific buildings;
  • carrying out a search for any hazardous substances or products that could contaminate adjacent waterways and removing them to a safe containment area;
  • deconstruction of buildings in sequence, with the goal of providing a safe, controlled system of work;
  • establishing spill kits, including socks and booms;
  • implementing a monitoring system to inspect the flow of water;
  • ensuring dust suppression waters were contained within the boundaries of the site;
  • remaining below a permitted 54-decibel noise limit; and
  • monitoring vibration to minimize disruption to the surrounding area.

During the project, Hughes & Salvidge says it become “the first demolition company to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon Reduction.” The company has calculated it reduced the carbon footprint of its operations on the site by 19 percent compared to a baseline, or the equivalent of more than 700 metric tons of CO2.

Hughes & Salvidge also launched its Green Hands Initiative during the Versalis project, which it describes as an environmental, health and well-being initiative with a scoring matrix that enables it to monitor performance onsite.