City of Regina finds new uses for old materials
With its new waste plan, the City of Regina is looking to improve waste management - but the way concrete and asphalt are handled is ahead of the curve.
Brent Rostad, manager of landfill operations for the City of Regina, said digging up old roads and sidewalks, repairing water and sewer lines and demolishing buildings all are examples of the processes that lead to the disposal of concrete and asphalt at the city landfill.
In 2009, about 50,000 tons of concrete and about 35,000 tons of asphalt came to the landfill. Currently, there are about 150,000 tons of each material at the landfill -- but they will not be there for long.
"At the Regina landfill, we segregate asphalt and concrete," explained Rostad. As part of new waste-management planning for non-residential sectors, the city is discussing changing processes at the landfill to encourage the segregation of materials that could be recycled - but that is already happening with concrete and asphalt, and has been for a long time.
It costs $40 per ton to drop off general waste, but if asphalt and concrete are separated from other materials, they can be dropped off free.
"That material is crushed, probably about every 2 1/2 to 3 years," Rostad continued, noting that the crushing of the concrete at the landfill has started up again in recent weeks.
The crushed materials are used for different purposes by the City of Regina including as fill for trenches and as bases for roads. It is not sold commercially.
The city has uses for all the concrete received at the landfill. There is more asphalt than needed right now, but the city has not sold it in the past. It might look at a market for some of the asphalt in the future, Rostad remarked.
There are some savings for the city, because if it did not use the crushed concrete, it would have to buy gravel, Rostad said.
That cost would be only slightly higher, when the costs to crush the concrete are considered, but there are some savings. But more than that, it is an example of products being diverted from the general landfill content.
"There's a lot of benefits to doing this," Rostad continued.
"It's a good example of something that works well. It comes in and there's a good need for it."
He noted the city is, through the waste plan process, looking at other materials that could be segregated and directed to recycling initiatives. There are many options around how recycling could work, and the city is not likely to be the only player involved, as some materials might be better processed by private businesses that already exist, or that start up, to address recycling needs.
(Source: Regina Leader Post, April 5, 2010)
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