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May 28, 2010

Mobilization

Concrete recycling provides foundation

Story & Photos by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

Concrete from Fort McCoy sidewalks, culverts, chimneys, floors, etc., is being recycled and reused at the installation. The practice helps save money and the environment.

PHOTO: Soldiers from the 328th Engineer Company dump a truckload of gravel and dirt into a crater pit on a Fort McCoy road in the Warrens Drop Zone. Photo by Rob Scuette
Soldiers from the 328th Engineer Company dump a truckload of gravel and dirt into a crater pit on a Fort McCoy road in the Warrens Drop Zone. The engineers located, filled and repaired the crater as part of their mission rehearsal exercise. The 328th, a New Jersey Army Reserve unit, is training to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Eric Downing, construction inspector for BSA/LB&B, contractor at the Directorate of Public Works (DPW), said 100 percent of the demolition concrete gets recycled and reused. “This year we crushed 17,153 tons. We crush it into two different sizes and then use it mostly for roads and grounds projects throughout the installation.”

Crushed concrete, once laid and in place, gets wet, hardens and makes a great base for road construction, Downing said.

Michael Kelley, chief engineer at the DPW’s Plans Branch, said recycling is mandated from an executive order of the President of the United States in 2009. “In addition to being told to recycle, it also makes sense as it keeps perfectly good material out of already overcrowded landfills.”

“If we weren’t doing this, we would have to pay to have the material removed from Fort McCoy, hauled to a landfill, and then turn around and pay to have stone brought in to use on roadways and other projects,” Kelley said. “This material also may be used by troops here for training exercises.”

Kelley said recycling and reuse of demolition concrete has been going on for many years.

PHOTO: Sgt. 1st Class Donald Tracy of the 328th Engineer Company drives a road grader on a tank trail on South Post. The gravel is crushed concrete from the fort’s building renovation and reconstruction projects. Photo by Tom Michele
Sgt. 1st Class Donald Tracy of the 328th Engineer Company drives a road grader on a tank trail on South Post. The gravel is crushed concrete from the fort’s building renovation and reconstruction projects.

DPW Water and Wastewater Division Chief Michael Miller said concrete was collected originally and stored as a training aid for units that operate the rock crusher. “We recycle an average of about 20,000 tons of concrete a year.”

Dan Brooks, also with BSA/LB&B, the contractor for the Directorate of Logistics, has one of the first tasks in the recycling process. Brooks spends an average of one hour every two weeks operating a large bulldozer at the Lemon Valley Concrete Dump Site putting concrete into rows along the perimeter of the lot.

Downing said contractor employees also operate the concrete-crushing equipment. “The recycled concrete saves Fort McCoy money by using the crushed concrete instead of having to purchase road fill from off post.”

“Recycling and reuse is important in that we aren’t polluting the Earth,” Brooks said.

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