Contractors World

Contractors World
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construction, demolition, mining and quarrying industries

Contractors World 2011 Volume 2 Issue 7
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Potomac Landfill novel approach to recycling - recycling an old landfill site

Recycling waste has become the mantra of many countries around the world and the results are evident with the number of recycling centres that now abound. However, there are countless old landfill sites. What can be done about those? One USA company shows one way to clean up the environment and make money!

Potomac Landfill, Inc began operations in 1985 when landfill was the way before recycling became the norm.By 2006, more than 75% of the 52.8 acre landfill area of the 96 acre site was full, leaving only 12.8 acres for future use. Since then, the company has been taking an innovative approach to extending the life of the landfill - mining and recycling construction and demolition material that was buried 18 to 36 m deep some 25 to 30 years ago.

As a result, the company is breathing new life into a 26 acre area. Amongst the products be ‘mined and recycled’ are wood, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, concrete, cardboard, tires, and dirt that is suitable for use as fill or topsoil. Non-recyclables are returned to the landfill, where they now take up far less space.

This leaves room for processing of additional construction and demolition materials trucked in daily by local construction, demolition and excavation contractors. Both the mined and the incoming materials are thoroughly screened to remove usable dirt and recyclables. Today, Potomac is strictly a construction landfill, the company does not accept residential or commercial waste.

A track-mounted Powerscreen Warrior 1800 purchased in 2009, a track-mounted Warrior 2400 purchased in 2010, and a 20 man portable picking station are the key factors in the tremendous success of the operation.

“It’s working out every bit as well as we’d hoped,” says General Manager, Richard Campbell. “We figure the combined mining, screening and picking station operations will add another 20 to 25 years to our landfill, plus we salvage a lot of recyclable materials which we can sell for profit and to help preserve the environment.

“In the old days, practically all the incoming construction and demolition debris, except for some of the very largest pieces of wood, concrete and metal that were picked out by hand, was dumped into a hole and covered up. That’s the 26-acre site we’re now mining.”

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Page updated: August 11, 2011



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Contractors World is many magazines in one - construction news for latest information (read our daily news pages) and a site equipment magazine featuring site reports from around the world and reviews of construction plant and equipment as it is introduced. Written specifically for earthmovers, quarry management, plant hire executives, and others with an interest in the construction and related industries.
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