Demo project at University of Rochester diverts over 300 tons of C&D waste


New York Construction Report staff writer

Through a partnership with University of Rochester and Rochester-based Turner Pike Construction, a majority of waste produced by the large-scale demolition of buildings surrounding the Strong Memorial Hospital’s emergency department has been recycled or diverted from landfill.

“The methodical demolition is quite meticulous,” says Robert Maloney, project coordinator for the university’s department of planning & project management. “Each wire, pipe and conduit had to be carefully removed.”

After waste is divided a large magnet passes over them to remove any remaining metal. Out of 340 tons of construction waste, 301 tons (just over 88 percent) have been recycled to date. Much more material is expected to follow suit as work continues, the university says.

At the beginning of the year, the project team aimed to divert at least 50 percent of construction and demolition waste, including concrete, steel, copper and wood.

Materials not recycled include asbestos-containing material (all of which was removed before demolition began), some plastics and other scraps that can’t be reused. Concrete is ground down to pebble-size material and used to make roads or pavers sold in home and garden stores. Steel is recycled in the scrap metal market. Much of our non-recyclable material will go to the High Acres Landfill in Fairport.

Transformers that were once used in the now-gone transformer building were shipped, fully intact, overseas where they will be used in India.

This cleanup comes before the digging of the building foundation, which will be followed by mass excavation later this year. Given this is the university’s largest project ever, Maloney says this is a good opportunity to prioritize diversion. At the beginning of the year, the project team aimed to divert at least 50 percent of construction and demolition waste—things like concrete, steel, copper, and wood.

“This is good for all of us,” said Maloney. “It means some cost reduction, but we’re also trying to build in a smart and sustainable way for future generations.”


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