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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
Our landfills are filling at an alarming rate. Did you know that since 1990, half the landfills in our country have closed because they're full? So what can we do? Well, surprisingly, a lot of things we often think aren't worth much can actually be made into very valuable products. We know that aluminum and plastics can be recycled; even wood and cardboard. But what about construction waste--things like concrete and sheetrock?
Well, a Utah company has the answer. The company is known as Construction Waste Recycling, and it is the first and only company in the Intermountain West to develop a proven and effective process for sorting construction waste.
Paul Richards, the company's president, told me that the process involves a team of sorters who determine what can be reused. Everything collected is then sorted and shipped to recycling plants. So far, the system has saved about 60 percent of what would have normally gone to a landfill. Paul said the company's goal is to increase that amount to 85 percent. You can better understand the impact when you consider that in one month, Construction Waste Recycling collects 24,200,000 pounds of waste. That's equivalent to an eight-story building covering the width and length of a football field.
The EPA currently requires contractors to recycle at least 30 percent of the refuse produced from construction projects. Asphalt, for example, can be reground and used as roadbase. And sheetrock or drywall has potential since the gypsum in it has been found to be a good soil additive.
Paul and his business partner Dick Chatterton took an in interest in recycling in 1999 after starting Metro Waste, a company that primarily collects and transports construction waste. But eventually, they realized the recycling potential of some of that waste and later started Construction Waste Recycling. Now, they're well on their way to finding better uses for used construction materials and decreasing the size of our landfills.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.