State OK sought for plan to recycle construction debris

Baltimore company's process would save space in landfill

April 08, 1999|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF

Tons of scarred brick, bent nails and other construction leftovers could vanish from the county's Northern Landfill if Carroll officials adopt a new process for handling construction and demolition debris.

Gary Horst, the county's director of enterprise and recreation services, has received permission from the County Commissioners to seek state approval for the proposal to recycle construction debris into a material that would be used in building roads and parking lots.

"Wood, concrete and old asphalt would be sorted and processed at our facility, where we would find new outlets for that material," said Monty Davison, general manager of Partners Quality Recycling Services Inc., the Baltimore company that has submitted the proposal.

In addition to reusing the materials, the process would save the landfill's limited space, which, Horst estimates, could be filled in seven or eight years, if alternatives to dumping the debris are not found. Construction debris totals about 10,000 tons annually, nearly one-tenth of the waste received at the landfill outside Westminster.

"We really need to conserve space," said Horst. "We've got a while to deal with the problem, but it's something we need to get a decision on."

The method Partners Quality has proposed to Carroll is in use in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties. The process calls for stockpiling construction rubble; salvaging whatever is "readily recoverable, such as ferrous metals"; and then pulverizing what is left into a dirt-like material, Horst said. If the resulting material is considered clean, it can be used in road-building.

Soil Safe Inc. of Baltimore, the sister company of Partners Quality, has been recycling construction debris for about a decade, Davison said. Both companies are owned by Walter Kennell, a Mount Airy businessman.

"The process turns wood to mulch, and concrete and old asphalt into roadway material," Davison said.

He was not able to say how much the process would cost the county.

The proposal by Partners Quality, which handles Carroll's curbside recycling, also includes a way to reuse the 5,000 tons of sewage sludge that accumulates annually at the landfill. That, too, could be used in the road-building material, he explained.

Unlike residential trash -- the bulk of the landfill's take, which is hauled to Pennsylvania and turned into electricity -- the sludge and construction rubble, from building sites and buildings that are demolished, is simply dumped into the landfill.

Horst will present the proposal to the Maryland Department of the Environment, which would have to approve the process for the 200-acre landfill off Route 140. He could not estimate how soon the process might begin, but said it would not be in time to get the proposal in the 2000 budget.

Sun staff writer Brenda J. Buote contributed to this report.

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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