American Recycler Newspaper


Recyclers see increased demand for crushed pavement material
by Brian R. Hook E-mail the author

Wood Fuel Plant

Business is steady at Waterway Materials LLC in Chesapeake, Virginia. It recycles anywhere from 600 to 1,200 tons of pavement debris on any given day.

Waterway Materials recycled in excess of 400,000 tons of material last year, according to Jimmy Sisson, managing member. Revenues totaled $3.5 million.

Sisson said all of the construction and demolition debris comes from the local construction market. Waterway Materials provides a facility to dump the material, whether it is asphalt or concrete. It arrives by either truck or barge. “We recycle it, process it, reprocess it and sell it back to the construction marketplace,” Sisson said.

Waterway Materials accepts what it defines as clean concrete and asphalt debris free of charge. It charges tip fees for pavement with rebar, wire and other debris. Most of the material that arrives is concrete. Sisson said that he occasionally gets a lot of asphalt. But there are three asphalt-paving companies in the area with around five batch plants. “There are a lot of them that are closer to any particular job site than I am,” he said.

Sisson said there are very few places in his region; however, that accepts concrete debris. “I get concrete debris from 25 or 30 miles away. Asphalt debris will typically go to the next closest place that will accept it for recycling,” Sisson said. He estimated that the percentage of asphalt received makes up less than 10 percent of gross annual tonnage.

Waterway Materials recycles the pavement through a double crushing process. It has a primary jaw and a secondary rotary-impact crusher to crush the material down to an inch and a half in size. Sisson described the end result as “basically gravel.” The material is eventually used in roadways, parking lots and “all kinds of other stuff,” Sisson said.

When Sisson helped launch Waterway Materials in 2000, he said the company initially faced buyer resistance for crushed pavement. He said that other manufacturers in the marketplace were not getting the metals and debris out of the recycled material.

But Sisson said that perception has now changed. “Today, I can sell more than I can crush. There is more demand for my product. On a direct competitive basis, I’m about eight or nine percent cheaper than natural aggregate sold here in our area,” he said.

“We are probably a 100 miles from the nearest aggregate supply. A large portion of the cost of stone is driven by the cost of transportation cost. That helps us be able to make a competitive product. We are well positioned within the geographic center of our economic region near Norfolk, Virginia. There is a lot of growth going on,” Sisson said.

Don Turner, director of the National Pavement Contractors Association based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region, said most of the contractors that he represents recycle the pavement in place. “It’s becoming more common. It continues to grow because it makes so much sense. You don’t have to find somewhere to dump old asphalt,” he said.

Turner said the practice is becoming so common that homeowners are contacting the association wanting to know whether it is possible to recycle driveways. Turner said that due to the size of the machinery, recycling driveways is not yet practical. But he said the requests are an indicator of how many people are becoming familiar with the practice.

“It makes a very good material and you’re starting to see it more and more on parking lot projects. The pavement is actually processed right there where it is. It works real well. It’s a win, win situation. It’s definitely growing in popularity,” Turner said.

“Since it is usable, why pay high costs to dispose of it. You are saving money, because the cost of crushed rock and conventional base material is far more expensive. So, why spend all that money. Just use the old pavement as all or a portion of the base.”

Dave Newcomb, vice president for research and technology at the National Asphalt Pavement Association in Lanham, Maryland, said recycling asphalt is a very common practice across the pavement industry. “It’s almost a normal part of most operations,” he said. “It saves money and you’re not using new resources. You are not paying for landfill fees. And it performs as well or better than an all-new mix.”

Newcomb said that recycling asphalt got its biggest boost during the oil embargo in the 1970’s. “The scarcity of asphalt at the point drove people to look at the alternatives. He said that current high-cost of oil is also driving interest in recycled pavement again today. “I would say it’s probably more important as the price of oil goes up,” he said.

Asphalt pavement is the most recycled product in the United States according to NAPA. The trade group estimated that each year the country recycles more than 73 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement – more than the combined total of 40 million tons of recycled paper, glass, aluminum and plastics. It estimated that 80 percent of the asphalt pavement that’s removed each year during widening and resurfacing projects is reused.

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Business/Organizational Briefs

Waste Section
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  Landfill permit enhanced in Massachusetts
  Illinois governor announces $4 million renewable energy development fund to promote wind energy
  Exelon marks more than one million megawatt-hours of wind energy sold
  Cattle manure to fuel new ethanol plant in Texas
  Trash trucks using two south central Pennsylvania landfills failed inspection
  EPA cites Remelt Services for clean-air violations
  Anheuser-Busch makes EPA Hall of Fame
  US Postal Service chooses Safety-Kleen
  California settles over BKK Landfill
  New Jersey coalition files order to stop unregulated waste facilities at rail yards
  Group formed to sell digested fiber
  Cargill adds 110-million-gallon ethanol plant in Nebraska
  First American Scientific signs agreement
  EPA collects one million pounds of waste

 


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