UPDATE: WMI Recycles Bridge In New York

NEW YORK CITY - Everyone's heard of recycling newspapers, tin cans and soda bottles, but what about something a little larger, say, a bridge for example? In the city of New York, Waste Management Inc. (WMI), Oak Brook, Ill., is undertaking just such a project.

New York's Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees construction, repair and maintenance for the city's roadways and many of its bridges. In August 1994, DOT announced plans to rebuild the Williamsburg Bridge with completion scheduled for February 1998.

Constructed at the turn of the century and opened in 1903, the bridge is 7,100 feet long, spanning the East River and connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan. On a typical day, more than a quarter-million commuters cross the eight-lane bridge. In addition, it supports tow tracks for the New York subway system.

Working with the general contractor managing the rebuilding project, WMI processed more than 3,200 slabs of concrete - each weighing more than 6,000 pounds - from the bridge deck. The concrete slabs were broken apart and crushed at the company's Woodside Heavy Materials Yard, located in Queens.

After passing a battery of tests by the city and the state of New York, the recycled concrete then was used in the newly-constructed portions of the bridge. The metal reinforcement bars embedded in the concrete were recovered and recycled as well.

Bridge reconstruction is expected to continue into 1998. During that time, WMI will continue to process concrete slabs and make crushed concrete and blend material available.

"While many people jokingly offer to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge," says Will Flower, a WMI vice president, "we mean business when we offer to sell you the Williamsburg Bridge."

Award The California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, Calif., presented the Walt Disney Co. with a "Waste Reduction Award Program of the Year" plaque. The company also was recognized as one of California's Top 10 waste reducers in 1996 due to the success of its "Environmentality" program. The program, which encouraged its 21,000 employees to reduce, reuse and recycle, ultimately resulted in 80,000 tons of waste being recycled, saving the company approximately $528,000 in avoided disposal costs.

Contract Global Recycling Technologies Inc., Stoughton, Mass., has been awarded a contract by the Massachusetts Division of Operational Services for the recycling of spent mercury-bearing fluorescent lamps. The contract is available to all Massachusetts agencies, authorities and municipalities for one year with up to four optional years.

Loans The California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, Calif., has approved $2,221,134 in loans to Evergreen Glass, Stockton; MBA Polymers, Richmond; and Vision Recycling, Almeada County.

New Facility Allison Transmission announces the opening of its new customer training facility in Indianapolis, Ind. The 13,000-square-foot facility offers courses on basic maintenance to more in-depth classes that cover hydraulic and electronic controls of the World Transmissions.

Re-Opening Med/Waste Inc., Opa Loca, Fla., has announced that its South Carolina waste incineration facility which suffered fire damage has been granted permission to reopen and resume normal operations by the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control.