When people see the methodical demolition at the mall site, they often wonder why so much care is being taken. The short answer is: we need to preserve the materials for recycling.
Here is the full explanation, from Westminster Senior Projects Engineer Dave Loseman:
- The actual demolition of the buildings is a controlled process, even though it may not look like it.
- First, salvageable material like wire, copper pipes and mechanical equipment is removed for salvage.
- Then a "skinning" process is done where the brick material is stripped first and sent for recycling.
- Following this, all material that can't be salvaged is removed and hauled to the dump site, and then the steel framing is removed for salvage. This steel needs to be relatively clean when removed before the recycler will accept the material.
- Once all vertical elements are removed, the floor is swept to assure there aren't any asbestos-containing materials remaining, such as trace amounts of asbestos in the vermiculite that is used as an insulator between the concrete masonry units, which may contaminate the soil.
- Once the floor is clean, the floor and foundation removal begins.
- The final step is to backfill the holes with clean, non-expansive fill material and then reseeding to prevent soil erosion until the project starts to develop.
About 90 percent of the material removed during the demolition will be recycled.