It’s been two summers since a devastating flood hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa but the town took one more step forward in its full recovery by demolishing and recycling steel from the Sinclair/Wilson Meatpacking Plant.
The overall demolition, which began May 11th, will cost more then $15-million. A portion of that is being made back, however, through the recycling of steel. The steel will be sent to Alter Metal Recycling in Cedar Rapids with Riggs estimating a purchase market price of $100 to $120 a ton, allowing roughly $150,000 to be funded back after transportation and labor costs.
The 28 acre plant had approximately 28-30 buildings on the property and was condemned due to public safety following the flood. According to John Riggs, the Assistant Building Official for the City of Cedar Rapids, some areas had as much as 18 feet of water. Because of this, a small amount of the demolition costs were approved by FEMA as well.
“One of the submittals from DW Zinser was to recycle the salvageable steel and concrete foundations,” said Riggs. “Once evaluated and reviewed by both the State of Iowa and FEMA we set up a cleaning process. The State of Iowa Department of Natural Resources specified how we were to clean the 2,500 tons of steel to ensure all contaminants were removed prior to transport to the local recycling and salvage facility.”
The money that Cedar Rapids will receive back is not the only benefit from recycling the material. Riggs explains, “Other than the obvious reasons we wanted to keep as much steel out of our landfill as possible. It has been a benefit to the city and this project that the steel coming from this large 625,000 square foot commercial building can be recycled.”
The demolition, according to Riggs, is two weeks ahead of schedule. In regard to future demolitions in Cedar Rapids, “We have some other commercial [buildings] coming up in the future and my plan is to continue recycling the steel as much as possible.”