The Zanker Road Landfill, Rethink, Reinvent, Renew
The ZRL concrete plant discussed below, was one of the first in the nation to convert concrete debris into aggregate products suitable for foundations and road construction. Zanker adopted the knowledge and skills developed in the 1960s by the crushed stone and mining industry and became the first plant in the Bay Area dedicated to recycling concrete debris.
The concrete recycling process begins when clean and reinforced concrete is unloaded at the site. The material is then screened to remove oversized pieces which are re-circulated through the crushing circuit.
Ferrous materials, compounds containing iron, that would compromise the value of the products are removed by the belt magnet equipment shown above, which is operated by nine staff members, four of whom operate the machinery. The other five employees sort the material, removing plastics, wood, trash and other contaminates.
Known as the Air Knife, the machine shown above uses high volume air blowers to separate plastics and wood from the concrete debris.
The green machine called the “rocket”, shown above, was invented by the Zanker staff. It uses 2000 gallons of water per minute to separate wood and other floating materials from the heavier concrete and metals. The wood flows with the water out of the front of the Rocket on to a conveyor system to be sorted. The heavy materials are conveyed out of the back of the Rocket and past a magnet which removes metals and a sorter that removes trash. The water is screened and reused.
Products made from the recycled concrete includes a 3/4″ class II base rock, recycled fill sand, pea gravel and drain rock. These materials are sold to contractors and the general public.
That mountains of construction and demolition debris like the one shown above are being transfomed into useful products is a cause for celebration! If you want to know more about this phenomenal process visit the Zanker Road Landfill on the ground and on its web site, http://www.zankerrecycling.com/.