Category: Case History Page 3 of 4

Archive: Historic Memorial Coliseum Comes Down But Its Steel Will Go On

The Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi was a state-of-the-art venue constructed in September of 1954. At the time, the boasted the world’s longest unsupported span roof at 224 feet using 260 tons of structural steel. After nearly 60 years of service, the coliseum is now set for demolition, but through recycling, parts of this landmark will live on.

When its deconstruction is completed on schedule in August, that same steel that enabled a record-setting unsupported span roof will live on thanks to recycling.

Jerry Shoemaker of RH Shackelford, the Project Manager of the Memorial Coliseum deconstruction and a retired Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, says he pushes for recycling on his demolition projects.

“[Recycling materials] is pretty standard since the 90’s,” says Shoemaker. “The processes are down and the vendors that want the materials use it as an opportunity. Ones that do it best are the ones that bid the best.”

In addition to the sustainable benefits of steel and its recyclability, the landfill space not being used is a positive as well. “We encourage, strongly encourage [contractors to recycle], because we also own the landfill. We told them we wouldn’t be accepting steel at the landfill. We’ve limited their opportunities to push them towards that recycling.”

Shoemaker has nearly 30 years of experience in the field and agrees that steel’s ease of recycling is a benefit, “Steel is easier to recycle, easier to pick it up, haul it off, control it and dispose it. Concrete on the other hand has got its challenges. Steel holds the better opportunity.”

With the continued reuse of steel in the industry, it’s become a standard in almost all structures and Shoemaker’s experience confirms that: “I can’t recall any projects that didn’t have some steel, it’s a good material.”

The Memorial Coliseum was uniquely designed by Richard S. Colley, and has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including international publications, for its exceptional construction. Its deconstruction is now receiving media interest for its responsible recycling of steel and other materials.

Archive: Homestead House Utilizes Steel for Unique, Efficient Design

“I can’t think of a material I would rather use in my experimental work then steel.”

Michael Jantzen has designed numerous architectural wonders in the last 40 years and one of his more recent is a steel structure inspired by one of his earliest pieces.

Called the Homestead House, the structure is designed using, in Jantzen’s words, “commercially available steel, prefabricated, modular, high strength, low cost arch building system normally used for agricultural purposes.”

“Back in the 1970s and 80s I had built a number of houses that were constructed from agricultural components,” says Jantzen. “These components were primarily steel roofs used to cover grain silos. Since then I have been interested in exploring the use of these components further because of the low cost and high strength of [steel].”

“I am especially intrigued with the idea of designing with steel components that require very little or no secondary support systems such as the silo roofs. This means that structures can be constructed very fast, often with unskilled labor, and since the strength of the structure is often formed into the skin of the component, much less material is needed.”

The Homestead House is able to generate its own electricity with photovoltaic cells and a small vertical axis wind turbine. Using solar heating and cooling system, it can function completely off the standard utility grid. Rainwater would be collected off roof arches and directed to storage containers.

Many of Jantzen’s structures specialize in eco-friendly building systems and steel plays into that heavily since it is able to be recycled numerous times as all steel in the United States is made up of a minimum of 25 percent recycled material.

Steel also offers several benefits over other materials from a design perspective.

“Steel components can provide a great deal of flexibility in design since the whole concept is based on a modular system of components that can be assembled in many different ways. This can be very difficult and costly to accomplish with many other materials,” Jantzen continued. “Steel has great untapped potential especially for housing from an aesthetic standpoint if people are willing to accept a very contemporary look.”

While Jantzen has continually received press and attention for his designs, he’s been fairly self-funded which has limited opportunities to expand on ideas. He hopes that with additional funding he can begin actual construction on several projects to show the application of his designs and would love to one day live in one of his homes with his wife Ellen.

For more information or inquire about ways to provide funding for projects, visit MichaelJantzen.com.

Archive: EPA Gets RAD on Steel Appliance Recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and West Virginia have partnered in the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program, a nation-wide campaign to educate and execute more environmentally conscious end-of-life scenarios for old, inefficient appliances that will enable the recycling of even more steel from end-of-life appliances.

The RAD program began in October of 2006 and Evelyn Swain, an Environmental Specialist, has working with RAD since its inception.

“We’re looking to change the practices within the industry,” says Swain. “We’re looking to make sure every part of the appliance is handled in the best possible way.”

With the help of RAD resources, consumers are increasingly choosing the best method of recycling the old and investing in new EnergyStar™ rated replacements made from recycled and recyclable materials like steel.

Steel continues to be North America’s most recycled material with a steady recycling rate of around 90 percent for appliances. In 2008, RAD contributed to that figure with over half a million appliances being efficiently renewed through RAD programming

The RAD program relies on their partners, such as municipalities, universities, utility companies and major retailers Sears and Best Buy, to accept the old appliances and offer vouchers or rebates on bills or new purchases. Utility companies are looking to get old, inefficient appliances off the grid and retailers want to be your best option for the newest, most environmentally conscious, appliances.

“We ask our partners information down into nitty-gritty of each individual waste stream and what durable components have you recycled,” explained Swain. “We calculate what that means for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas avoidance and ferrous metals recycled.”

RAD officials estimate that over 22,000 tons of ferrous metal were recycled in 2008 through program partners. The process of recycling just one ton of steel conserves 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. In addition to the natural resources, each ton of steel recycled also conserves about 4697 Kwh/ton of electricity.

“Looking from 2007 to 2008 and 2009, [our recycled units] are significantly increasing every year and we’re excited to stay on this track. Getting states and retailers to join the program who can handle large volume of units is moving us towards our goal which is just to properly dispose as many units as we can.”

The annual greenhouse gas reductions of RAD’s program are estimated to be the same as if 229,000 passenger cars were taken off the road for that same year. The steel industry has also reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% since 1975. The reduction of these greenhouse gasses will protect our valuable ozone layer.

Besides energy conservation and reducing greenhouse gases, the physical landfill space required to store poorly handled appliances is an important message as well.

“These appliances are some of the biggest in the household,” says Swain. “One of the major benefits why retailers are joining forces with RAD is green messaging. Consumers are expecting more that products at ‘end of life’ are being recycled properly and not ending up in a landfill.”

With West Virginia now on board, there are several other states, local governments and retailers exploring a partnership with RAD. The more partners and forces working together the more benefits the program will create.

“Our RAD partners can’t accomplish our goals without the support of steel recycling and other end of life industries,” Swain concluded. “It’s really important for the program to have that support and backing.”

For all that they’ve done and the increasing amount they will continue to do, steel recycling supports RAD’s accomplishments.

More information on EPA’s RAD Program: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/partnerships/rad/.

More about the West Virginia Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program: http://www.dep.wv.gov/wveearp.

Nationally, consumers can find where to recycle their appliances through the Steel Recycling Locator at http://www.recycle-steel.org.

Archive: Steel Helping Build Oklahoma City American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

American Indians believe in the native world view that everything is related to all other things. The environment is a sustainable life force that can maintain itself over many generations. North America’s #1 recycled material, steel, believes in a similar sustainability and will be used to build Oklahoma City’s American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM).

While only two American Indian tribes are indigenous to Oklahoma, as many as 39 were forced to move to the area over the nation’s history. Despite their homelands being from all corners of the United States, their cultures are still alive and vibrant today.

Nathan Hart, AICCM’s Director of Community Affairs, emphasized the above Steel's flexibility and strength make the Hall of the People unique design possiblesentiment and has been involved in the planning and construction of the 141,000+ square foot facility since 2002. Since the facility began preparations, the environment has played an essential role.

“Environmental considerations were driven a lot by the individuals involved,” explained Hart. “The native world view that everything is related to all things, the environment, universe, plants, animals, that view gave guidance to the design team to make efficiencies in design.”

The efficiency of steel was an easy selection for the design team.

“It was the best material available with the strength and flexibility we wanted. The ‘Hall of the People’, the whole building itself, is at a curve. You can run straight beams in an area and hide them but in the ‘Hall of the People’ it is a big open structure, high arc tresses and steel was the only way we could accomplish that. We wanted nice high curvature.”

Hart also stated that steel’s ultimate recyclability was a bonus in selecting it and they are very fortunate to have W&W Steel within a mile of the facility for any excess steel from the property to be recycled.

As of now they are estimating around 1636 tons of steel to be used during phase one of their construction process. More will be used as additional areas of the 250 acres are constructed.

When all is completed, estimated in 2014, the area located on the Oklahoma River will be home of the cultural center, museum, athletic fields, shopping plazas and art galleries. Many of the buildings using steel as the primary material.

“The American Indian cultures themselves are very resilient,” said Hart. “And with the construction and materials we use, such as steel, the buildings reflect that resiliency as well.”

A computer rendered image of the finished Cultural Center

Archive: Rural Steel Recycling Drive Builds Overpass

The rural town of Gravette, Arkansas, is split in two. Thirty-eight trains a day-some lasting longer then 10 minutes-pass directly through the center of Gravette, denying access to the other half of town.

While this may pose only a minor inconvenience for most, this obstacle can have life-threatening implications in the case of emergency vehicles needing to get across town. The hospital, the fire department and the police department are all on the East Side of the railroad, delays at the train intersection present a large problem for emergency vehicles.

The citizens of Gravette believe they need an overpass to resolve this stopping point. But the Arkansas Highway Department has other priorities and a limited budget. So, the citizens have decided to take the task into their own hands.

“We’re going to build this bridge out of scrap steel,” said Gravette Mayor Dean Fladager.

The bridge won’t literally be built from scrap, but the rural town has kicked off a scrap drive where all benefits will go into the Overpass Fund, including a dollar for dollar, matching donation made by Applegarth’s Recycling, the local company where the scrap metal is being collected.

Since the drive started last spring, over 50 tons of scrap metal has been collected. The total of all contributions and pledges to date is more than $210,555 for the Overpass Fund.

“We’re cleaning up the countryside as well as building an overpass,” Fladager said.

Once a week, the city sends a truck around to collect steel. The town’s citizens have embraced the effort, donating their steel cans, old cars, farm equipment and other large steel.

According to Fladager, “All the ma’s and pa’s and the folks around the country side are making this happen.”

The small town’s scrap drive has even reached beyond the state’s borders. A company in Colcord, OK, is replacing its industrial driers and has offered to donate the old ones to the scrap metal drive in Gravette.

Fladager, a retired engineer, ran for mayor almost exclusively to get an overpass built. He started a petition which received nearly 2000 signatures-a good total considering the town’s population is a little under 2000.

Besides the scrap metal drive, the town has held other fund raisers, collected private donations and has received large donations from two local businesses, The Bank of Gravett and Shepherds Chapel.

Original estimates for the overpass were around $800,000, but Fladager believes that the actual cost will be lower. He made an initial investigation into the overpass, and realized that a conventional viaduct overpass would devastate the downtown area. Numerous businesses would be closed and many buildings would need to be removed. But he also found that only 2 city blocks away, there was an alternate crossing where the steep grade of the train tracks and the rise of the local landscape was ideal for a flat bridge crossing.

CONTECH, a North Little Rock design/build firm is completing designs for an overpass structure to fit this specific area. The firm’s system utilizes curved structural steel plates that form a tunnel-like structure over the railroad tracks. The steel is anchored in concrete, and then backfill is placed over the structure. A roadway can then be placed over that-an ideal situation for this new intersection.

CONTECH has used this type of overpass to span Kansas City Southern tracks before, but never in Arkansas. The cost of this type of overpass is significantly lower than the standard overpass.

“We’re demonstrating to Arkansas the goodness of this process, and the power of scrap,” Fladager said.

Archive: Buy Recycled Executive Order: Does a Shift to “Buy Recycled” Mean a Change in Purchasing Habits?

The head of each executive agency shall incorporate waste prevention and recycling in the agency’s daily operations and work to increase and expand markets for recovered materials through greater Federal Government preference and demand for such products—Executive Order 13101—September 14, 1998, President William Jefferson Clinton.

The practice of government procurement of recycled goods is an important aspect of recycling economics. Buying recycled helps develop and maintain markets for recyclable materials and close the recycling loop. But, does a shift to “buy recycled” mean a shift in purchasing practices?

When products being purchased are made from steel, the answer is no. Products made from steel always contain a minimum of 25 percent recycled steel and are recyclable at the end of regular use.

The steel industry, along with the Executive Committee of the Congressional Steel Caucus, is working to educate federal cabinets and agencies about steel’s buy-recycled benefits.

In June of 1999, the Executive Committee sent letters to Federal Cabinet Secretaries and Agency heads asking them to report on their progress in implementing Executive Order 1301 as it relates to the increased procurement of steel.

The congressional letter stated that steel is the most recycled product in the world and that more than 60 million tons of steel were recycled last year in the United States. It also included information on the energy savings, stating that “steel recycling results in enough energy being saved to light over 18 million homes for a full year-the equivalent of one month of our nation’s need for electricity.”

The Steel Caucus specifically inquired about departments’ consideration of steel products in areas including: utility poles; housing construction; commercial and office construction; roads; bridges; transportation vehicles; food service operations; parks and maintenance facilities-all of which have quality steel options meeting the Executive Order. Responses are still being received by the Caucus as agencies inventory their procurement practices.

In addition, the Steel Recycling Institute, at the invitation of the Federal Environmental Executive, made a general presentation to the Inter-Agency Executive Order Advisory Group to educate the group about gaining “buy recycled compliance” while procuring quality products made with steel.

Through this general presentation, SRI presented the individual cabinets and agencies with the opportunity for customized presentations based on the needs and procurement habits of the individual cabinets. To date, two procurement presentations have taken place for individual cabinets with future presentations currently being scheduled.

Archive: Steel Industry Takes Strong Stance Against Contaminated Scrap

The steel industry has dug in its heels and will remain the last line of defense between the American consumer and the threat of free release of radioactive scrap metals into the materials stream.

This strong industry position has been taken in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) plan to demolish more than 100 nuclear facilities and release the scrap into the steel recycling stream.

During the cold War these facilities were put in place to build America’s nuclear arsenal. But, with the end of the cold war, came the end of the need for the vast numbers of these facilities, which are now in the process of being shut down and demolished.

A recent story aired on CNN cited to the example of a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, TN, which is in the process of being demolished and decontaminated. This facility, the size of 66 football fields, provided enriched uranium for generations
of nuclear weapons, including the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Over the next several years, 126,000 tons of scrap will be yielded from the demolition of this facility. It is the plan of the federal government to recycle the scrap from this and all of the decommissioned facilities, which has stirred great concern within the steel industry.

This steel industry does not want scrap from any of these DOE or nuclear power plant sites that has been exposed to radiation at any time. For nearly a century, the steel industry has been recycling old steel into new steel. During this time, the industry has built a quality recycling infrastructure which is built around delivering quality contaminant-free scrap to the steel mills. It is now standard practice for scrap to the steel mills. It is now standard practice for scrap to be scanned for radioactivity of any kind before it is processed and remelted into new steel.

Introducing radioactively contaminated scrap at low levels of radioactivity, runs the risk of contaminating and building up in the machinery used to make new steel products.

“Using radioactive wastes in consumer products poses unnecessary, avoidable, involuntary, unacceptable risks,” Andrew G. Sharkey, III, American Iron and Steel Institute President and CEO said. “We remain committed to protecting our employees, our customers, our communities and the American public. That’s why our member companies will continue a long-standing process of monitoring all scrap metal coming into steel plants. But their investment in detection equipment and vigilant monitoring activities is literally holding the line against this radioactive threat to the public.”

In comments presented before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, AISI called for the agency: “to fully regulate and isolate radioactive wastes and materials and anything they contaminate, no matter what the level. The radioactive legacy of atomic weapons and energy production should be isolated from the public and the environment,” AISI declared.

The steel industry is not alone in its stance. AISI, joined by the Steel Manufacturers Association and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, sent letters in the past week to Congressmen John Dingell (D-OH) and Ron Klink (D-PA) thanking them for their support on the free-release issue and asking them “to take additional actions to help find an appropriate resolution” to this concern.

Consumers have also voiced concerns about radioactive steel. Focus groups conducted by Wirthling Worldwide, a nationally recognized research firm, indicate that consumers feel there’s not enough known about the long-term effect of radioactive, especially low-grade radioactivity. Decisions made now could create unintended consequences years or generations down the road that cannot be reversed.

Archive: The Windy City’s Drive to Get More Mileage out of their Steel

Jack Hammer is a man (actually a mascot) on a mission. Jack is the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) mascot for Mission I-55 and should be up for Chicago’s recycler of the year-capturing more than 40 million pounds of steel for recycling.

In February, Jack and Chicago IDOT kicked off the final phase of Mission I-55, a five-year reconstruction of the Stevenson Expressway. The Stevenson is a portion of I-55 which handles an average of 160,000 vehicles a day. When IDOT first opened the road in 1964, it was called the Southwest Expressway, and was designed for a daily load of about 22,000 vehicles-a far cry from its current volume.

The wear and tear from an increasing traffic load and 34 years of Chicago winters, road salt and snow removal left the expressway in need of repair. So, in 1996, the Illinois Department of Transportation kicked off Mission I-55 to replace beams, decks, bridges surfaces and even bridge piers. In addition, the Stevenson will receive some modern upgrading, including the installation of barrier walls, modern traffic surveillance, road lighting and landscaping.

In planning for this reconstruction, IDOT separated the 15 miles of highway into three distinct sections. The first was approximately 4 miles of total removal and reconstruction; the second was approximately 8 miles of concrete patching and resurfacing; and the last was a mile and a half of total reconstruction.

A project of this magnitude has a potential of generating tons of waste. However, part of the plan for Mission I-55, as well as all IDOT programs, is to keep wastes to a minimum and recycle as much as possible. IDOT receives consideration in contract prices from the salvage value or the steel removed from the project.

“Contractors are required to dispose of old materials and are instructed to recycle where possible,” said Bruce Dinkheller, engineer of project implementation for IDOT. “A contractor’s bid must reflect the quantities and savings generated from recycling for an individual project.”

In this case, that’s 14 million pounds of rebar, and 26.5 million pounds of structural steel, not to mention tons of concrete.

For this project, four contracts were awarded. The first was a joint effort by Walsh-Lorig, the second was awarded to Baker Heavy and Highway, the third to James Cape and Son, and the last to a joint venture by All Concrete and Callaghan Paving.

The concrete was crushed right on site by the contractors, while the rebar was removed and bundled. The steel rebar was loaded onto trucks, along with the larger structural beams and taken to local scrap processors.

The crushed concrete from the project was then used as subgrade for the new roadway, ensuring that all the old materials were recycled.

Dinkheller estimates that IDOT recycles millions of pounds of steel each year from various projects. Exact numbers are not available because each separate contractor is responsible for recycling and disposal of old materials on their particular project.

The Mission I-55 Stevenson Expressway project is planned to be completed in October of 2000.

Archive: 3-2-1 Recycle

Countdowns at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) usually mark time until a thunderous explosion sends tons of metal into space with pinpoint accuracy. However, last October the United States Air Force and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) started a countdown to set a precision explosion to bring tons of metal down to the ground-4,000 tons, in fact.

Launch Complex 41 (LC-41) was the launch site for numerous satellites as well as high profile missions including the Voyager probes and the Viking spacecraft to Mars.

The launch complex, built in 1965, finished its more than 30 years of service to the United States Air Force (USAF) with a large bang. The 200-foot umbilical tower, which stayed with space-bound vehicles prior to launch, and the 300-foot mobile service tower, which was on a track system and moved prior to launch, were both toppled in the name of progress.

The removal and upgrading of launch pads is fairly routine. Another set of towers, at nearby Launch Complex 40 (LC-40), was taken down in the early 90s using cranes, but because LC-41 was nearly 25 stories high, explosives were chosen to accomplish the demolition. In all, nearly 8 million pounds of steel were brought down.

“Safety is always a top priority,” said Mike Sisler, Environmental, Safety and Health for Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Launch Operations. “By demolishing the towers in this manner we minimized exposing personnel from working at elevated heights.”

Using explosives to bring down the towers also resulted in substantial savings in cost and time. Demolition workers first used blow torches to weaken the legs of the towers. In all, more than 120 pounds of explosives were needed to topple the steel giants.

There were four bangs, and it leaned over.

“The best way to describe it is it was a four-legged chair, and they just knocked out two legs,” explained Sisler. Olshan Demolishing, and Yorke-Doliner was contracted to remove and recycle the scrap.

To accomplish this, they brought in four cranes equipped with hydraulic shears to cut the steel into smaller pieces. The pieces were then loaded onto trucks and taken to the local Yorke-Doliner scrap processing facility, the largest of its kind
in the area, for recycling.

All of the steel was removed for recycling within a 5 month period. LC-41 was demolished to make room for a new commercial launch pad to be used for the Lockheed Martin Atlas V launch vehicle.

There is also a new steel building (Vehicle Integration Facility, VIF) which sits about 1800 feet off the pad. The Atlas V vehicles will be assembled inside (and transported from) the VIF building to the pad on rails prior to launch.

Archive: Oil Filter Recycling is No Waste to ProCycle

In recent years, many companies have come to realize the environmental benefits of recycling used oil filters. As a result, a number of environmentally effective methods of processing these used oil filters have been developed, and thanks to John Barber III, there’s one more.

In 1992, Barber took an idea and a small oil recycling company and turned it into one of the largest oil related recyclers in the Southwest, capturing tons of steel from used oil filters each year.

This growth for ProCycle came in part because of an innovation in oil filter recycling by this creation from Barber. In 1992, he invented and patented a method of recycling all components of used commercial and industrial oil filters. Today, ProCycle recovers used oil filters from across the Southwest.

“I had been working in the oil recycling industry since 1988 and realized the potential for capturing much more of what had routinely been land filled,” said Barber.

In addition to his oil recycling background, Barber also had training in construction and engineering and put this knowledge to use in designing and oil filter recycling system that he registered as the “Pro-M-Cycle 1 Filter Recycling

ProCycle now has a fleet of trucks circulating throughout the Southwest, collecting used oil filters from a variety of commercial and industrial sources. The collected oil filters are then hauled to ProCycle’s 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Springtown, TX.

There, the oil filters are tested to make sure that they contain no hazardous wastes. Once inspected, the used oil filters then enter Barber’s patented thermal and mechanical process. The collected filers first enter a shredder, which breaks
them into tiny chunks and slices. The shredded filters then enter the thermal process, baking out any excess oil that was not caught through the initial draining. This oil is cleaned and collected for reuse. The steel portion of the oil filters is separated and stored for recycling. The pleated paper and other materials are reduced to an ash used in concrete making.

Each year, ProCycle recovers more than 2,000 tons of steel, along with more than 500,000 gallons of used oil from filters that were alleged to have already been drained of their contents. The collected steel is baled and sold to Gashman Metal or Chaparral Steel.

Clearly, used oil filters are a valuable source of scrap. The Pro-M-Cycle 1 process has proven itself a viable method to process filters for end market consumption.

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