Trash plant demolition contract passes board approval
Columbus City Council approval is the next step

The SWACO Board Of Trustees has awarded a contract to B & B Wrecking and Excavating of Cleveland for the demolition of the retired Waste To Energy Facility In Columbus, Ohio. If approved by the Columbus City Council the contract would call for “B & B” to pay SWACO almost $377,500 after the work is completed (The actual amount will depend on the volume of scrap recycled). That amount would then be paid to the City of Columbus and credited against the debt that SWACO owes the City on the plant (currently SWACO’s obligation to the City is $28.7 million).

SWACO executive director Mike Long emphasizes that 90%-to-95% of the former plant will be recycled after the demolition.

The metal from the plant will be put to future use after it is sent to the scrap market.

The concrete from the stacks will be used as back fill on the site to make the area more attractive for development. A key element of the SWACO bid process required contractors to guarantee that as much as possible is recycled. The figures will be subject to verification. Long notes “our mission is to reduce reliance on our landfill and any others that we may impact. This is a prime example of how careful planning can lessen our need to use landfills and benefit us all. We are also saving two buildings at the site for reuse.” One of those buildings is to be used for a 30,000 ton-per-year paper recycling operation. Long continues, “While the time for this facility has passed, the usefulness of the products used to build it has not. This is a lesson for all of us in reuse.”

The three stacks stand 270 feet (each). They are constructed of reinforced concrete and brick. At one time they were part of an operation that burned a mixture of 44 tons of coal and 523 tons of trash daily to deliver 90 megawatts of electricity to the City of Columbus power grid. The walls of the stacks range in thickness from 7 inches at the top, to 17 inches at the base. The tops of the stacks are 957 feet above mean sea level. It is also expected that approximately 5,000 tons of scrap metal can be recycled when the plant is taken down.

Brian Baughman, president of B & B Wrecking and Excavating rates the demolition of the plant as one of the top five jobs his company has handled. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with SWACO to ensure that as much of the old plant is recycled as possible.” The project is scheduled to take up to 150-days to complete. Baughman expects that the three stacks of the plant will be imploded within the first month of work.

SWACO will continue to work with the City of Columbus to market the plant site for new development. The hope is that green industry will grow on the property and benefit the environment as well as the economy.

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