WasteExpo: Many Factors at Play in C&D Recycling

Panelists agree there is much driving the C&D recycling industry.

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June 5, 2012

Attendees of the 2012 WasteExpo learned about what factors are driving C&D recycling during a session titled, “Construction & Demolition Debris: Processing Trends.”

Kenny Lark, director of strategic business for Waste Management’s (WM) Construction Solutions segment discussed the strides the Houston-based company has made in this area over the past several years. He told attendees that WM currently operates 35 C&D processing facilities and is one of the largest logistics and alternative fuels companies with 1,000 CNG (compress natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) vehicles in operation and 2,200 vehicles that run on various biofuels. WM also owns the largest landfill airspace in North America, according to Lark.

In 2009, WM formed its Construction Solutions division. WM has increased its C&D processing capacity by 233 percent over the last three years said Lark. “Lack of consistent and viable end-market solutions” is an example Lark gave as a barrier to C&D recycling.

Andy Lake of Armstrong World Industries, Lancaster, Pa., urged attendees to participate in the fourth comment period for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2012. The company, which has operated a ceiling tile recycling program for the past 12 years, also has begun accepting certain types of its flooring for recycling. Lake said that it is the companies that are able to take in these additional materials that will be able to increase their recycling rates and stand out to customers. “Those people who are able to distinguish themselves are getting the work,” he said.

Bill Turley, executive director of Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) discussed how the organization is addressing what he calls the problem of “sham recycling” through a certification process conducted by a third party. The third party organization created to administer Certification of the Real Rates (CORR) is the Institute for Certification of Sustainable Recyclers (ICSR). The administrator for the certification program is J.W. Spear. The certification will validate a facility’s recycling rate.

“We are there to measure what is getting recycled,” said Turley. The certifications will be valid for one year. More information about the certification is available at www.recyclingcertification.org.

The 2012 Waste Expo was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 30-May 3, 2012.