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(Kansas City, MO) – The Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant is where most of the used water that goes down sinks, toilets, and sewers in Kansas City ends up. Now, the decades old plant is coming down and in its place will be a state-of-the-art facility that will turn wastewater into biosolids.

What makes this demolition work different is the amount of recycling that's happening. Black & Veatch is designing major elements of the project as one of the partners on the Goodwin Brothers contractor team to help KC Water identify and take advantage of opportunities for sustainability.

"We're trying to recycle all of the materials that are possible. The bricks that came down off of the building have gone to recycling," said Suzie Carpenter, Black & Veatch Design Manager. "All of the concrete has been broken up and the rebar that's in the concrete has been taken out so the concrete goes to one recycling center and the rebar and other metals also go to another recycling center."

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Already, 1,600 tons of material have been removed and 98% has gone to recycling. Much of it is bricks and concrete that will be ground down into aggregate for use in new concrete.

The process takes a little longer, but everything is done intentionally.

"It's a very organized approach to how we demolish, how we arrange for transport and who is able to reuse materials cost effectively," said Brent Herring, KC Water Wastewater Division Manager. "This results in an overall project that's beneficial not only in terms of efficiency and processing, but also in terms of impacts on our ratepayers."

The reuse approach extends to more than demolition. Part of the original building will be saved and used in the new facility.

Tracking recycling efforts is one requirement of obtaining a Silver rating through the Envision process. Envision is a checklist of criteria used to measure the sustainability of an infrastructure project through design and construction.  Recycling is one of 60 criteria measure when determining a project's rating.

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For more information, contact Heather Frierson, KC Water Media Relations Coordinator heather.frierson@kcmo.org, 816-513-0280, cell: 816-674-0211

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KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area.  KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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Filed Under: Government, Water

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