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CMRA takes advocacy actions.

* The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), mostly through its Issues & Education Fund, has undertaken several advocacy actions on behalf of the C&D recycling industry.

The first involves the association's Southern California Chapter. Members there sought to solve the problem of municipalities throughout the state with conflicting mandates. Many solid waste districts mandate that when roads and bridges are demolished, the material has to be taken to recycling centers, but some of those same municipalities won't purchase the recyclers' finished aggregate product for their road projects.

The reason the municipalities demand that the material be sent to recycling centers is California's Assembly Bill 939, legislation that requires all cities and towns in the state to recycle or reuse at least a 50 percent of the waste they generate. Since communities can be fined for not reaching the 50 percent goal, they need the diversion credit to avoid the penalties.

But a main task of state and local governments is building and maintaining roads. In California, CalTrans, the state's department of transportation, has long recognized the value of recycled concrete and asphalt, and even has a specification for recycled concrete as a road base product in its main specifications book. Most of California's highways are built on recycled concrete road base.

Despite this support from CalTrans, some municipalities do not use recycled road base in their own projects. However, the CalTrans experience with its state highways shows that if the material is made to meet the specification, recycled concrete road base meet all engineering criteria and performance needs.

It also saves money. A document prepared by CMRA member Dan Copp of Dan Copp Crushing, Anaheim, Calif., shows that when all costs are factored, the use of recycled base by government entities saves taxpayers money because of lower transportation costs. Currently, natural aggregate is hard to obtain in parts of Southern California. It demands a premium price and sometimes has to be trucked great distances. Concrete recycling yards are usually a lot closer to the road projects. Not only is there the cost advantage, this means trucks are not on the area's clogged roadways as much, and there is less air pollution caused by the trucks.

CMRA members met with several personnel of the California Integrated Waste Management Board about the situation. From these meetings a couple of plans of action were developed.

First, there is a California state law requiring municipalities to specify both virgin and recycled products when putting out requests for bids for the products they buy. There are 12 categories of products this applies to, but construction and demolition materials are not specifically named as being part of those products. It is expected that CMRA will advocate the legislative branch fix this oversight and include recycled C&D products as part of the mandate on bid specifications.

There are also plans for an education program. Actions are being made to present information at two League of California Cities conferences, one for public works directors and the association's annual meeting.

In the country's far northeast, the CMRA has joined forces with the waste industry's associations to oppose a planned rail haul facility in Wilmington, Mass., that will handle C&D and other materials. The CMRA and several of its members are contributing to the effort to slow or stop the planned facility, saying it is transfer station masquerading as a railroad operation.

For more information about these projects, the CMRA can be contacted at (630) 5857530 or info@cdrecycling.org.
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Title Annotation:CMRA News; Construction Materials Recycling Association
Publication:Construction & Demolition Recycling
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:581
Previous Article:Miami selected to host C&D World 2006.
Next Article:More sponsors for CMRA meeting.
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