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Florida group keys in on CCA wood.

* The fate of scrap wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in the state of Florida is being debated by the state's Department of" Environmental Protection (DEP). That agency is currently asking the recycling and solid waste industries to provide suggested best management practices to separate the contaminant-laced material from the rest of the C&D stream.

A November meeting in Orlando between the DEP, academic researchers and representatives from the recycling and solid waste industries yielded the call for information.

The DEP's intention is to develop the best management practices, evaluate alternatives for the identification of CCA wood, and then determine the options and issues of handling CCA wood after it is separated from the solid waste stream.

Bocause of its semi-tropical climate requiring significant pest control measures, Florida may have more CCA-treated wood than any other state. A study headed by Helena Solo-Gabriel of the University of Miami reports that currently about 5 million cubic feet of CCA wood is disposed of annually in the Sunshine State. Additionally, here study shows that between now and 2024 a steep rise in disposal is forecasted to occur, perhaps to as much as 30 million cubic feet annually.

DEP information shows that currently some of this material is making it into unlined landfills; some goes into lined landfills; and some makes it into C&D recycling centers.

Unlined landfills present the problem of leaching, says the DEP, while C&D recycling centers can contaminate products such as colored mulch and boiler fuel with CCA wood, although they strive to keep the material out of their infeed stocks.

A difficulty noted by attendees at the November meeting was identification of CCA-treated wood. Especially if weathered, it looks remarkably similar to non treated wood. Technology options are available to detect CCA wood, but most or all have serious drawbacks, according to William Turley, executive director of the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), Lisle, Ill.

For example, Turley notes, a chemical stain put on all the incoming wood can tell which scraps are CCA tainted, but this is a labor-intensive process that does not sort material as it identities it.

Mechanical systems that detect and sort out CCA wood use X-rays or lasers to detect the contaminant and then rely on mechanical sorting to jettison the offending pieces. These systems show promise, says Turley, but require very cost-prohibitive capital investments. Neither method has proven itself yet in a high-production setting, he adds.
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Title Annotation:Commodities
Publication:Construction & Demolition Recycling
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:EPA looks to boost end markets.
Next Article:Recycling on the GreenBuild menu.

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