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October 2006

 

Landfilling alternative sought for millions of tons of wasted sand

EPA has released a guide to help states get more productive use out of millions of tons of sand discarded by the foundry industry.

The State Toolkit for Developing Beneficial Reuse Programs for Foundry Sand is designed to significantly increase the volume of sand that is reused from foundry operations, saving landfill capacity and protecting natural resources.

Each year, foundries, also known as metal casters, use about 100 million tons of sand to create molds for cast metal, but then dispose of about 10 million tons. Most of the disposed sand is not hazardous and could be reused in a variety of ways including roadbeds, construction fill, and cement manufacturing. However, barriers in state programs and the market result in only about one million tons (10 percent) being reused.

While the toolkit can help states promote beneficial reuse of foundry sand, it is also helpful to states when starting or revising programs aimed at a much wider range of industrial byproducts, such as coal combustion byproducts and construction and demolition debris.

For a copy of the toolkit and more information, visit www.epa.gov/sectors/metalcasting/foundry.html.


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