The how and where to dispose of construction and demolition (C&D) debris is becoming increasingly more difficult these days as the construction industry’s economy rebounds and the available sanitary landfill space fills up. Government regulations regarding waste management are compounding the dilemma for construction businesses and builders.
In California, for example, the mandatory commercial recycling law (Assembly Bill 341) is very straightforward: Firms that generate 4 cubic yards of waste a week are required to recycle. The state’s goal is 75 percent recycling, composting or source reduction of solid waste by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To reach that number, an additional 23 million tons will need to be recycled, reduced or composted in less than four years.
The combination of those factors has helped create a business opportunity for firms such as SCOR Industries, Bloomington, California. Started by Norberto Sandoval in the 1970s, the Los Angeles-area company has a long history of construction and demolition job-site cleanup.
More recently, SCOR Industries has transitioned into commercial, industrial and infrastructure resource recovery, calling itself the nation’s first global research center for resource recovery and zero waste.
“The typical hauler focuses on finding a home for construction waste,” says Adolfo Sandoval, son of the founder and vice president of operations at SCOR Industries. “We take the opposite approach, trying to recover as much of the waste as we can. As a result of the comprehensive services we offer, our company works on some of the largest, highest profile building projects in Southern California. Our customers like the unique way we manage job-site waste and the recycling rates we can achieve.”
GETTING A GOOD START
SCOR Industries begins working on a project as soon as the contract is awarded. That is when the contractor has to provide an estimate of how much waste material is going to be generated. Municipalities require a waste management plan before a job begins.
“Our first step is to fill out the forms for the contractor so they can obtain a building permit,” says Jessy Cisneros, SCOR Industries recycling supervisor. “We have historical data going back 15 years that we use to help the contractor budget for how much waste is going to be generated, what type of materials are going to come out of the job. Based on the scope of the project, we can provide very accurate information on how much concrete, wood and other materials will turn into waste. The documentation we produce allows the contractor to get a building permit very quickly.”
Once the contractor begins generating waste material, the SCOR Industries team is on-site, providing debris containment to keep the project in compliance. Using Bobcat skid-steer loaders, attachments and large roll-off containers, the staff separates materials quickly and dispatches full loads to the company’s 7-acre facility in Bloomington, California. If there is not sufficient space on the job site to separate the material, it is brought back to the SCOR Industries lot to be prepared for recycling.
Each load of debris, accompanied by a work order for the project, passes over the firm’s scale system in order to keep an accurate record of each client’s job.
Once the roll-off containers are dumped, a pair of Doosan wheel loaders with buckets handle the waste material. For example, the wheel loaders put the wood into grinders for making nursery products, and metal goes into shredders. Concrete is crushed and sold as a base; gypsum goes to Bakersfield, California, to be used as a soil component; and plastic is shipped overseas where 100 percent of it is recycled.
“We track the waste material from start to finish,” says Sandoval. “While the goal of the state is to have 75 percent of the debris recycled, we have been able to achieve more than 90 percent recycled.”
With contractors being required to properly dispose of their waste and provide documentation, SCOR Industries says it provides a valuable service.
“Our clients really like the way we handle the process for them,” says Sandoval. “They also like the timely service we give them. We help keep jobs on schedule. Coming from a construction background, we understand schedules and how to make them work for our customers.”
Oltmans Construction Co., a full-service general contractor based in Whittier, California relies on SCOR Industries.
“I can remember when this environment stuff was a real headache,” comments an Oltmans representative. “But not anymore. In our 80 years, we’ve never seen another company like SCOR Industries that delivers so much at such a reduced cost.”
Another client, Toll Brothers, a national homebuilding company headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania, says, “Building luxury homes isn’t any fun if the contractor you use for resource recovery isn’t helping you save money. SCOR Industries over delivers services and keeps costs really low.”
BIG BOYS IN THE YARD
As the resource recovery firm’s business increased the past couple of years, the company needed wheel loaders capable of handling large volumes of material. Scott Equipment, a supplier to the Sandoval family for more than two decades based in Monroe, Louisiana, suggested they look at the Doosan brand.
The first purchase was a DL420-5 wheel loader, followed more recently by a DL250-5. Both loaders are operator favorites, offering comfort, reliability, simple maintenance and fuel efficiency.
“With trucks arriving and departing throughout the day, these two machines move massive amounts of material,” says Sandoval. “They handle tons at a time. The technology behind the wheel loaders is very useful because of the volume we pick up and transport. These machines are the big boys in the yard.”
This type of equipment will likely continue to be needed around the SCOR Industries facility. “The demand for our line of work is very high right now,” says Sandoval. “Our plan is to manage growth by growing with our customers.
“There is little doubt that the need for resource recovery will increase,” continues Sandoval. “Some people look at the regulations as being more stringent, but we are starting to understand that we have to recover more, and we are running out of sanitary landfills. The public is beginning to be more responsible and proactive concerning the environment. That focus has created great opportunities for companies like ours.”