Large crushers also require support equipment. “We either use a dozer or another excavator,” says Kirk. “Something has to feed it and something has to take it away or you will not get much done.”
Justifying this expense requires that you have sufficient material to crush. “In my opinion, it is not worth doing unless you have 3,000 tons,” says Kirk. “I have done it for less, but there has to be a reason.”
Kirk C&D Recycling uses a Novum screen plant to keep up with a rented Terex jaw crusher. “I actually own two screen plants but the crusher I rent,” says Kirk. “I always get the same machine.”
He says it makes no sense for his company to own the crusher. “There are times when we have run them every day for two months and then turn around a month later and have done the same thing,” he acknowledges. But the large capital expense and maintenance costs would make ownership prohibitive. “The electronics are so complicated that when you have a problem you need to know what you are doing.”
Klenck Company is currently crushing for a stadium demolition project. “The project that we are crushing on right now will generate 25,000 tons of concrete,” says Funke. That concrete will be used as fill in the stadium demolition.
Yet, the contractor takes a similar approach to on-site crushing, choosing to rent a crusher from another contractor. “It is a tremendous cost,” says Funke. “You are talking about half a million dollars in capital investment.
“We rent their machine and put our operators on it,” he continues. “We found that works a little better because they have to maintain the machine and we pay the rental rate. Anybody who crushes very long knows that maintenance is a very big issue.”
According to Funke, there are usually two reasons for crushing on site — either the owner requests it because it will mitigate the cost of buying virgin stone, or it will be stockpiled to build something else on the property. “Usually, we get a price per ton. We like to crush for a couple of days,” he comments. To make it profitable, he estimates there needs to be a 2,000-ton minimum.
On-site sorting vs. C&D centers
Both Klenck Company and Kirk C&D Recycling have spun off into C&D recycling operations. Klenck’s partner company is Fligeltaub Recycling Inc. Kirk C&D Recycling’s partner is Henson Disposal.
“We now actually bring everything back to the C&D recycling center and go through 100% of the job,” says Kirk. “In the past, we would try to take out what we could, but that was really only the metal and the aggregate. The other things, there is really no market for unless you get it really clean, which you cannot do on the jobsite.”
Space constraints are a serious concern on many sites. “Seventy-five percent of construction sites only have enough room for one dumpster,” says Kirk. “You are trying to get as much stuff on the site as you can.” If you want to segregate seven or more different materials, it becomes a challenge since you would need a separate container for each material. “Now you have piles all over the place. It looks terrible. It is in the way. You are handling it 10 times.”
Another problem on the jobsite is keeping absolute control. “You just cannot un-train the employee who walks by the dumpster and throws his lunch bag in it,” says Kirk. “Even on jobsites where they have people to make sure it is clean, it never works.”
Then you have to balance jobsite productivity vs. the time it takes to properly sort the materials. “When you look at a big project that is performing prevailing wage, it makes no sense,” Kirk states. “You cannot spend that much money organizing trash. It just makes more sense to throw it all in a box and haul it away to a center where they are more efficient.
“We are cheaper than a landfill,” he adds. “It makes no sense not to come here.”
Fligeltaub Recycling Inc. handles 100,000 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap per year. Klenck utilizes Fligeltaub’s scrap containers for on-site segregation.
You can actually get paid to bring certain scrap materials in. “The wood, we have a place to go with it,” says Funke. “So you just pay for the transport, whereas you would have thousands of dollars in tipping fees for something that you could have recycled.”