Across the UK, the importance of recycling is increasingly being recognised, particularly as many landfill sites will be full by 2020 and access to new ones is limited.
Having increasingly found it difficult to dispose of spoil in the Lockleaze, Bristol area and with rising costs, in 2011 Daniel Contractors, working with Bristol Water, started to take all its groundwork surplus material to a unique recycling centre. This ‘SMR recycling facility’ processes all incoming spoil, turning it in to a useable backfill product that outperforms traditional methods and materials.
The SMR based recycling process turns spoil into a superior Type 1 GSB stone compliant product that can be used as a reinstatement product on projects. Between July and November 2011 Daniel Contractors, delivered a total of 2,644.45 tonnes of spoil to the recycling facility (an average of around 525 tonnes a month) on a ‘tip and take’ basis.
Rather than taking the spoil to a landfill site and then collecting virgin and compliant reinstatement product from a quarry to be used back at the job site, vehicles simply take the waste to the SMR facility, deposit it and at the same time collect the superior backfill product that has already been processed using the SMR solution. When analysing vehicle movements over the period, using the SMR recycling facility resulted in just 136 journeys whereas a traditional landfill and quarry process would have required 221 journeys which means 85 movements by aggregate lorries have been saved in the Lockleaze, Bristol area alone. That is 85 movements less of pollution and road congestion.
The SMR ‘tip and take’ approach not only cuts journey times by more than half but also dramatically reduces costs because using the superior SMR produced Type 1 GSB material is significantly lower than the combined landfill, virgin aggregate and associated transport costs.
Ian Foley, Daniel Partnership Manager on the Bristol Water Contract also added: “Trench arisings sent to landfill have high carbon and financial costs compared to recycling excavated materials. Thanks to the local availability of SMR’s Recycling Stations’ product and their support/expertise we have reduced the carbon footprint of our works.”
The Benefits of ‘tip and take’ SMR Batch-Mix
Whilst many of the individual projects undertaken by Daniel Contractors on behalf of Bristol Water don’t generate large volumes of spoil (many are typically in the 10 to 100 tonne range), when added together they accumulate into a significant monthly volume.
Bringing an in-situ processing facility to a particular site may not be the most economic or practical solution, however, ‘tip and take’ means all the benefits can be obtained; including the financial and environmental savings.
Higher recycling targets achieved: Local authorities are being tasked with meeting ever more stringent environmental targets, so using SMR back-fill material is proving to be an important and cost effective element to their overall strategy.
Improved material performance: The SMR methodology has been proven to produce a back-fill sub base product that performs significantly better than the 30% GSB material typically specified for the task (and in many cases the SMR product performs at more that 100%+ GSB).
Landfill avoided: By reusing spoil treated using the SMR process there is no longer a requirement to send spoil from smaller projects to landfill, thereby avoiding all associated, and ever increasing, landfill taxes.
Virgin materials saved: By re-using spoil back on the project, expensive and limited virgin aggregate resources are not required which means that the environmental impact of mining and transporting these are also removed from a project.
A growing number of utility and construction companies, along with local authorities, are increasingly turning to the SMR ‘tip and take’ recycling facility model to recycle spoil on a local basis.
SMR has already signed up a number of HUB dealer partners across the UK and is actively looking to have a batch-mix provider in close proximity to most major cities within five years.