A new use for old construction and demolition waste
By Lindsay Gale26 July 2011
A 26 acre site near Washington DC, USA, is the home for Potomac Landfill Inc. In operation since 1985, by 2006 the landfill was more than 75% filled with demolition and construction waste - Potomac only accepts waste for the construction industry. Since that date, the company has been mining the site for recyclable waste that was buried 18.3- 37 m (60-120 ft) deep to free up space for future operations. Currently, it is recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, concrete, cardboard, tyres and earth that is suitable for use as fill or topsoil.
In 2009, the company bought a tracked Powerscreen Warrior 1800 and added a Powerscreen Warrior 2400 tracked dry screen in 2010. Together with a 20 man portable picking station, these machines form the core of the success of the operation.
According to Potomac general manager Richard Campbell: "It's working out every bit as well as we'd hoped. We figure the combined mining, screening and picking station operations will add another 20 to 25 years to our landfill, plus we salvage a lot of recyclable materials we can sell for profit and to help preserve the environment."
"In the old days, practically all the incoming C&D debris - except for some of the very largest pieces of wood, concrete and metal that were picked out by hand - was dumped into a hole and covered up. That's the 26-acre site we're now mining."
The Warrior 1800 is primarily used to separate earth from the mined waste although originally it was used to screen both new material coming on site and mined materials. The Warrior 2400 is now used to process the new material delivered to site, as well as a secondary screen for material that has been processed by the 1800. It is a heavy duty machine that is equipped with optional punch plates, not often used in the USA, instead of fingers and as a result earth and other small material falls though to leave larger recyclable material.