Dan Berg
Envs 220
Final Report
A. Molitar


Objective: My internship was with Walla Walla 2020. This non-profit organization's mission is to: “envision, plan for, and realize a livable community in the Walla Walla area in the coming decades, and to promote those practices and systems which will protect and enhance our quality of life.” One of Walla Walla 2020's largest committees is the recycling and waste reduction committee. My plan for the semester was to work with the Vandervert construction company to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill from their job sites. Specifically I worked with Bill Caruthers who is the foreman of the apartment complex going up next to K-Mart. I worked with him to avoid creating as much waste as possible by investigating more environmentally preferable construction materials (especially those that can be reused/recycled back into the manufacturing process) and to avoid landfilling as much waste as possible by finding reuse resources through the Washington State 2good 2toss.gov website and, if all else fails, recycling the rest.


Contacts: Sandra Cannon from Walla Walla 2020 was my sponsor and advisor in this internship (sandra.cannon@pnl.gov); Bill Caruthers was foreman for Vandervert Construction (509-954-6240, bcaruthers1@aol.com). Sharon Johnson is the coordinator for the Regional Waste Reduction & Recycling Office (509-527-3282, SJohnson@co.walla-walla.wa.us). Walla Walla Recycling helped me try to find a place to recycle vinyl (509-525-1482).


Action: I started my internship by going to the quarterly Walla Walla County Resource Conservation Committee meeting with Sandra. We discussed the possibilities for my internship and what I could do throughout the semester. At the end of the meeting it sounded as though I was going to be standing by a dumpster for a large part of the semester tallying what was going in that could be recycled. Sandra and Sharon told me they were going to talk to some construction companies, Vandervert and Buttice specifically, to see if they could use any help in the area of recycling building scraps.

After some discussing with Sandra, it was decided that I would be working with Bill Caruthers, the foreman working with Vandervert Construction Company putting up the new apartment complex next to K-Mart on Issacs. I would work with him to try to get as much waste from the site recycled as possible. When I talked with Bill he was about to start installing appliances into the units. All of these appliances were shipped in cardboard boxes so Bill wanted all of this cardboard to be recycled. The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization (VFW) offered to pick up all of the cardboard from the site free of charge. They were contacted just before appliances which were shipped. The VFW picked up the cardboard for free and sold it, donating the profits to help veterans. Bill found the best way to get rid of scrap wood was just to leave a pile of “free wood” out in front of the site. Workers and other people picked up this wood and used it for firewood and other needs. The only other major waste product coming out of the site during this semester was scrap vinyl. After searching for a place to recycle this we found the only thing Bill could do was to haul it to the landfill.

After searching through the dumpster, I found the majority of the waste going to the landfill was vinyl, pressure treated wood, and oriented strand board (OSB). None of these products are recyclable due to the treatments they receive before being used. At this point Bill was recycling all the waste he could.

Because he was toward the end of this project, no changes were possible as far as environmentally preferable construction materials go. He was already using TREX, a board made of recycled plastic, for the exterior railings on the balconies of the building. However many other environmentally preferable construction products are available besides TREX. I gave him a list of these materials that he could use on future projects (see attachment for list). He was very enthusiastic to receive this list because he had not heard of many of the products on the list. After a great deal of discussion with him he sounded like his number one priority was environmentally friendly products, even if they cost a little more than virgin products.

My father is a general contractor in Maine so one thing I did to further help the project was to foreword him the list of environmentally preferable construction materials to use in his construction at home.


Problems Faced and Suggestions for the Future: The fact I was involved in the project as it was coming to a close was the main problem I faced throughout the semester. I think the best time to have someone involved in this would be before the project even starts. Once the project has been bid out, no real monetary changes can be made to the types of materials being purchased. Because a key part of recycling is completing the loop and using recycled materials yourself, factoring these products into a bid would be key.


Reflecting: As a whole I felt that this internship would have gone a lot better if I had a little more direction going into it. It took me a little while to feel out exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Once I got going I realized that there was not a lot I could do to immediately help Bill. However I could prepare him for upcoming jobs, supplying him with information on products that are environmentally friendly. Now that he has that list with specific brands and stats on each product, it is in his hands whether he wants to pursue using these products in the future. After talking with Bill a bit, he sounded excited about actually using these products even if they cost a little more. He felt helping the environment is more important even if it is a little more expensive. I think I did everything I could to help Bill run a more environmentally friendly construction site.


Construction Product

Minimum Recycled Content Required

Supplier/Recycler Information

Carpet - Polyester/Nylon

25% PET
25% recycled nylon carpet

Specifications [link to http://www.scs1.com/carpet/ ]

Carpet Manufacturers/Suppliers

•  AlliedSignal
Infinity nylon carpet heather.sheehan@alliedsignal.com rlawson@dcna.com

•  Bradley Wes-Floor Covering
3515 W. Clearwater Ave. Kennewick , Tel 783-3803

•  Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings [link to http://www.powerbond.com/]
Tel 425-641-1958

•  Color Tile , 731 N. Columbia Center Kennewick , Tel 735-7618

•  Interface [link to http://www.interfaceflooring.com/flash/flash_C.html]

•  Milliken Earth Square Carpet [link to http://www.earthsquare.com/index.html]

•  Mohawk Image Carpet [link to http://www.mohawkind.com/ImageIndustries.html]
Tel. 800-722-2504

•  Shaw EcoSolution [link to www.shawtek.com ]
5701 6th Ave. S, Suite 552
Seattle, WA 98108
Lori Heinsch, Tel 800-410-3883, 206-762-3883

•  Talisman Mills Envirelon [link to http://www.governmentsales.com/carpettalgsact.htm]

Dennis Daniels, Tel 800-482-5466


Recycling Carpet

•  Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).[link to http://www.carpetrecovery.org/ ]

•  Closed Loop Contract with above companies

Carpet Cushion
- Bonded Polyurethane
- Jute
- Rubber
- Synthetic fibers

15% post-consumer old carpet cushion
40% post-consumer burlap
60% post-consumer tire rubber
100% recycled carpet fabrication scrap

Recycled Felt Pads:
Benjamins Carpet -
Tel 509-946-4506, Richland
Color Tile , 731 N. Columbia Center Kennewick , Tel 735-7618
Recycled Rebond Carpet Pads:
Tel 800-631-0845

Ceiling Tiles - Acoustical

Not required but available at cost savings over virgin ceiling tiles

Armstrong Industries
Sales Rep Don Eddy
Tel. 800-448-1405, ext. 8144 or
Bonnie Moore (717-462-4171) for technical information
e-mail techline@armstrong.com
Acoustical Products Inc.
*Armstrong also recycles ceiling tiles.

Cement and Concrete

possible 5-40% coal fly ash
25-50 ground granulated blast furnace slag
All suppliers have concrete with fly ash available but we need to specifically request it. Concrete with fly ash increases the strength but also the curing time. It does not increase the cost.

Koncrete Industries Inc .
Tel 509-525-9143
Central Pre-Mix
Craig Mayfield, Tel. 545-8405
Acme Materials & Construction Tel. 946-4131
*Koncrete Industries recycles concrete with rebar for $10/ton; Ray Poland and Sons at 525 W Grand Ronde, Kennewick, 99336, 586-2158 also recycle concrete and asphalt

Crossing Surfaces
- Railroad Grade
- ConcreteCoal
- Rubber
- Steel

15% fly ash
85% tire rubber
16% post-consumer steel with total of 25% recycled steel