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In one place: The C&D World expo allowed recyclers from throughout the nation to gather and discuss common issues. (C&D World Wrap-Up).

Some 200 recyclers and their suppliers from all segments of the C&D recycling industry attended the 10th Annual C&D World expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in late January.

The forum, which serves as the Annual Meeting of the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), Lisle, Ill., included an exhibit hall with industry suppliers represented at more than 20 booths and educational sessions covering topics of concern to the C&D recycling industry. It took place from Jan. 20-22 at the Wyndham Spa & Resort in Fort Lauderdale.

Many attendees took part in the CMRA golf outing as well as stayed for a tour of the J.R. Capital Corp. site in nearby Davie, Fla., that also included working equipment demonstrations.

Two individuals were recognized by the association with plaques for having attended all 10 of the C&D World shows: Steve Corell of Corell Recycling in Des Moines, Iowa, and Mason "Trey" Brown III of Big City Crushed Concrete, Dallas, Texas.

Also at the show, it was announced that the CMRA has entered into an agreement naming GIE Media Inc., Cleveland (publishers of C&D Recycler magazine), as conference manager for the next three C&D World events, starting with the 2004 C&D World show to take place in New Orleans.

CMRA MOVES FORWARD. Efforts to keep C&D recycling viable in the face of new regulations and laws will be a focus for the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) in 2003. CMRA members met for their Annual Meeting and installed new board members in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Monday, Jan. 20.

Issues facing recyclers of concrete, wood and other building materials include dealing with hazardous substances, such as lead and arsenic, as well as combating unreasonable restrictions relative to zoning and siting facilities.

On one front, the CMRA is working with the government laboratory CERL to characterize painted concrete, ideally so it can show that the trace amounts of lead in such material does not render it unfit for recycling. Several CMRA member companies, including Eagle Crushing Co., Gallon, Ohio, and Ted Ondrick Co., Chicopee, Mass., have pledged $1,000 contributions to help fund the study.

The idea is to provide a sample study that can be submitted to regulators in various states should they question the practice of recycling concrete that contains trace amounts of lead-based paint. Testing began Feb. 10 on materials recovered from a demolition project at Fort Ord, Calif.

The CMRA will also be conducting programs to boost end markets and materials generated. The group has started working through the U.S. EPA Waste Wise program to form construction site target recycling levels. The first such arrangement is in the works with retailer Target Co., Minneapolis, with the retailer pledging to recycle 50 percent of the materials at its construction sites. "We think it's a good way to promote C&D recycling at the customer level, working with the customers of contractors rather than contractors," said CMRA Executive Director William Turley.

On the end markets side, the CMRA is asking to help provide information to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Washington, when that group begins studying the issue of specifications of crushed concrete as road base.

"Markets and regulations will unify us the most," incoming CMRA President Tom Roberts told the assembled CMRA members, who come from several types of businesses. Roberts' company, J.R. Capital Corp., handles mixed C&D debris, including concrete, asphalt and wood, the most commonly generated C&D materials.

"We want to bring a voice to regulators and elected officials in states where there are challenges and debates concerning our processes and our products," Roberts declared.

Members from various states noted that they face end market restrictions such as demolition wood not being usable as mulch (Massachusetts) and concrete crushing plants being restricted from doing onsite work (Texas) if there is a home, school or church within one quarter of a mile.

HOT TOPICS. During a half-dozen educational sessions, attendees heard from recyclers, regulators and researchers concerning several of the most controversial issues affecting C&D recyclers.

They also heard an economic forecast from David Czechowski of the Portland Cement Association (PCA), Skokie, Ill. Czechowski's forecast was of particular interest to concrete recyclers in attendance, since it included specifics on future highway spending.

"The sky is not falling; we just need to be prepared for this pause," Czechowski commented regarding a projected highway spending decrease of 0.2 percent in 2003.

Czechowski's longer range forecasts have highway spending moving forward again in 2004, increasing by 5.7 percent in that year and by another 5.4 percent in 2005.

Overall construction spending, decreased by 1.3 percent in 2002 and is expected to fall another 1.5 percent in 2003, said Czechowski. A rebound is forecast for 2004, when overall spending is being forecast to grow by 2.3 Percent.

The current lags on the economy include heavy loads of consumer debt, concern over lost portfolio values after the stock market spiral and the uncertain situation with Iraq. On the positive side, interest rates remain low and Americans continue to build and buy new homes and the durable goods that go into them. "The recession we had in 2001 was fairly moderate by historical standards," said Czechowski.

Two mixed C&D debris recyclers with operations on opposite sides of the country also gave presentations outlining their challenges and opportunities.

Taylor Recycling Facility, Montgomery, N.Y., responded to one of America's highest-profile challenges when it stepped in with methods to efficiently and effectively sift through the debris that was hauled away from the site of the former World Trade Center in New York.

After the terrorist attack, rubble went to the Fresh Kills landfill site on Staten Island, where Taylor Recycling ultimately assumed a prominent role in helping investigators sift debris for forensic evidence.

The company's Tom Kacandes also described how the company has distinguished itself from competing recyclers by the attention it pays to the purity of the products it ships.

Taylor Recycling has worked with manufacturing firms such as U.S. Gypsum to "work backwards" to first understand the company's needs, and then to put in place a system to turn scrap drywall into a product that would fill that need.

He urged C&D recyclers to "put product requirements first, then design a system." Kacandes added that a good system should be flexible to meet shifting quality requirements and what should hopefully be a mixed base of several customers.

Michael Gross, marketing manager for Zanker Road Resource Management, San Jose, Calif., stated that owning the best equipment is helpful, but the best processing techniques in the world can't help overcome a lack of end markets.

At its two recycling facilities, the company uses workers at picking stations, trommels, air knives and other sorting and processing techniques to create several marketable products.

Gross said that prices for end markets can be disappointing, but just making sure the end markets are there is important to avoid stockpiling problems. "Right now, I have about 60,000 tons of base rock on site waiting for a home," he commented.

The company has a base of some 1,200 customers who tip there, said Gross. In the most recent 12-month period, Zanker processed more than 390,000 tons of materials and obtained an average 91 percent recovery rate.


C&D World attendees who stayed through Wednesday were rewarded with a chance to tour a mixed C&D debris recycling facility in Davie, Fla., operated by current CMRA board chairman Tom Roberts of J.R. Capital Corp.

The site accepts mixed C&D loads from throughout south Florida and produces a variety of end products, including wood fuel, mulch, recovered screened material (RSM) soil, mixed scrap metals and concrete and asphalt that can be sent to crushing companies or can be used as `lakefill' material in south Florida.

The active multi-acre site includes a sorting line staffed by several pickers who segregate metals, cardboard and other recyclables. A grinder made by Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) processes wood products.

Also on the tour, three equipment demonstrations were set up, one by Norton Environmental Equipment, Independence, Ohio, and two by Morbark Inc., Winn, Mich.

The Norton demonstration featured the Terminator 5000S all-purpose shredder, which is often used by C&D facilities as a primary shredder to reduce incoming material to a manageable size for further processing, according to Norton's Chris Valerian. At the Davie site, it worked its way through a mixed load of materials that include wood, metal and other debris.

One of Morbark's demonstrated models was the 1300 Tub Grinder, a high-volume machine that attendees watched chew its way through thick tree limbs and other green waste.

The author is editor of Recycling Today and can be contacted via e-mail at
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Author:Taylor, Brian
Publication:Recycling Today
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Mar 1, 2003
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