Bloomington, IL-based Kirk C&D Recycling, owned by Tim and Tom Kirk, specializes in residential and commercial demolition services and also offers excavation and site clearing services. Klenck Company is focused on large commercial and industrial demolition projects, engineered structural demolition and interior elimination in southern and central Indiana. Both companies have been at the forefront of construction and demolition (C&D) recycling, and have proven that recycling can benefit the bottom line.
Recycling efforts can help you trim expenses. The trick is to find useful purposes for the waste stream being generated. Metals, wood and concrete are among the easiest to recycle. Other materials may take a little more ingenuity.
You must also consider how recycling efforts can impact productivity, since recycling can slow production. “It is outweighed by the money that you would save by not going to the landfill,” asserts Nicholas Funke, Klenck Company.
To maximize the value of your recycling efforts, you need to have a plan in place tailored to your company’s operations. Successfully implementing that plan will require a change of mindset. “You cannot look at it as trash,” says Tom Kirk, owner, Kirk C&D Recycling. “It is cash flow.”
Specialized Tools Required
If there’s a C&D recycling center close to your project, you can save money by reducing the material that would otherwise go to the landfill, and it doesn’t require major changes in day to day operations. If not, recycling efforts will take a little more advance planning.
The proper equipment makes recycling more feasible. Specialty attachments can come in handy when sorting material. “We typically do quite a bit of sorting on site,” says Funke. “We have a lot of specialty implements for our excavators.” This includes the Krypto Klaw from Rockland Mfg. “It is basically an excavator bucket and grapple in one. Most of our excavators are outfitted with those.” All of the prep work is done on site before material is shipped off to the C&D recycling center.
Another attachment Klenck Company finds handy for recycling on demolition projects is a pair of LaBounty UP30 Universal Processors. “They have a steel shear jaw, a concrete crushing jaw and a concrete cracking jaw for very thick stuff,” says Funke. “We have been very happy with those attachments.”
In addition, Klenck Company typically uses four roll-off containers to segregate material: one for steel, one for wood, one for cardboard and one for C&D waste. This simplifies the recycling process. A local pallet manufacturer who performs a lot of grinding takes the wood. “Building a new building, everything comes in cardboard,” says Funke. “There is a local cardboard place that will take everything that we have divided.”
To minimize the material going to the landfill, you need to identify useful purposes for as much of the current waste stream as possible. Klenck Company has even looked beyond traditionally recycled materials. “We have recycled glass out of hotels,” notes Funke. “The National Demolition Association has a ceiling tile recycling program through Armstrong and they have done an excellent job. We had a couple of projects where we attempted to do that, but there were environmental concerns.”
Pros and Cons of On-site Concrete crushing
Crushing concrete on site is one of the most popular forms of recycling. For smaller projects, a crushing attachment or small portable crusher can be useful for turning concrete into usable aggregate. But larger volumes require a dedicated crusher, which is a substantial investment.
Carefully consider the economics before committing to on-site crushing. “The only way it makes sense is if you have the opportunity to sell it or you are getting paid to leave it there,” says Kirk. “If the owner needs aggregate on the site, it saves the transportation of hauling it out and back.” But this approach does require room. “By the time you fold out a screen plant and set up a jaw crusher, that equipment is not small. You don’t realize how big they are until you stretch them out.” Then you need room for the stockpiles. “It takes a lot of room to do it.”