The road to recycling street sand may soon be on the fast track due to the new pilot project at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence. After five years of research, the Centre recently announced its Road Sand Recycling Project, which aims to remove the garbage, separate and dewater contaminants and clean the recycled sand for reuse as street sand.
In 2003, the city expects to sweep about 140,000 tonnes of sand off city streets. Traditionally, sand has been used as fill but new environmental regulations ban the material from landfill, due to its high salt content. The pilot project will address the challenge of recycling this waste stream.
The main challenge of recycling street sand, says John Mundy, general supervisor for Edmonton’s Transportation and Streets Department, stems from the fact that 25 to 35 per cent of the content is composed of contaminants such as clay and silt, cigarette butts and other litter.
The two-year demonstration project, which could save the City of Edmonton up to $1-million a year by decreasing supply, transportation and disposal costs, is expected to begin next spring.
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