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September 2004

C&D Landfill Operator Gets Boost from Bad Weather

Greenville, NC— When someone says, “Look what the wind blew in!” Judson Whitehurst pays more attention than most people would. Whitehurst is the owner and operator of EJE Recycling and Disposal in Greenville, North Carolina, not far from the Atlantic coast. EJE started as a small recycling yard, he says, but everything changed when Hurricane Floyd blew into Greenville with category four winds in September 1999.

“That was the flood of the century for people in these parts,” Whitehurst claims. “When the clean-up started, they made us a staging site for this county. Once all the material was here, they asked if we could landfill it here instead of transporting it to another site.”

Neighboring counties also started coming to EJE to dispose of their storm debris. The landfill business quickly became a major part of the EJE operation.

“Now we do a complete disposal as a landfill, transfer station and recycling center. We handle mainly construction and demolition waste and we specialize in recycling steels and papers.”

Whitehurst soon realized that maximizing the life of his landfill was his top priority for long-term success, so he went to work to “get ahead of the curve.” His plan was to divert as much material as possible to other waste streams to make the best use of his landfill capacity. That led him to the prospect of acquiring a host of new equipment, with a primary shredder topping the list.

“Landfills are hard to get permitted now, and it’s just going to get harder. I started looking at shredders to divert more material into recycling and reduce the volume of any remaining material. Public perception is also key; it’s important for the public to see you making the effort to add life to the landfill,” he added.

Over the past year or so, Whitehurst claims he ran demonstration units of “every shredder that’s out there.” He looked at machines rated from 50 to 100 tons/hour, but generally found that the projections only applied to a limited range of materials. For the kind of mixed materials that EJE processes, “anything the wind might blow in,” many machines slowed down to 20 or 30 tons/hour while others were simply unable to process the material. Mattresses, roofing, carpet, hydro poles and cables were especially challenging. He finally settled on the Pri-Max line of primary shredders from SSI.

On average, EJE Recycling and Disposal will process 50 to 55 tons of C&D material per hour, and recently, Whitehurst added a mobile shredder to enable himself to handle more custom work at remote customer sites. He recently completed a large contract for the state DOT and looks forward to more work from the department soon.

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