That material doesn’t have to be thrown into Laramie’s landfill, Webb said, but often comes in mixed with other materials that make it unsuitable for recycling, or diversion. Many of those materials which end up buried and taking up space could be used for other purposes, such as road base or wood chips, but only if it’s clean and separate from other non-recyclable refuse.
“Right now, when the customer comes in, it’s not just concrete, it’s everything off the work site,” he said. “The reason we don’t have clean, good concrete (at the landfill) out there is it’s mixed with brick, it’s mixed with tile … Once it gets crushed, it’s very, very rare for a landfill to meet specifications (required for road base).”
The city’s solid waste division is an enterprise fund, meaning it is statutorily required to operate at break-even, meaning user fees must be enough to fund services.
Councilor Dave Paulekas said he’s observed that many truck or trailer loads that end up at the landfill from construction or demolition sites are often filled with a wide variety of materials, both recyclable and non-recyclable.
“It’s economics,” he said. “Why make that extra trip to the landfill?”
Read the article and join the discussion via Construction, demolition waste doesn’t always need to end up in landfill – Laramie Boomerang Online.