Concrete burned in Calif. fires being recycled as road base

Updated Dec 21, 2017
Photo: Ventura County Fire DepartmentPhoto: Ventura County Fire Department

A steady stream of dump trucks has been delivering loads of burned concrete to the Stony Point Rock Quarry west of Cotati, California, The Press Democrat reports. The concrete, which comes from the foundations and driveways of homes that were destroyed by the fires in Sonoma County, will be crushed and recycled to build new roads, according to Mark Soiland, president of the Soiland Co. that owns the quarry.

The quarry had been receiving about 300 truckloads per day of concrete from contractors clearing home sites under the management of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Soiland told the news agency. The Corps estimates about a million tons of burned rubble will be cleared, with much of going to landfills, but the concrete, metal and wood is being salvaged and recycled.

Once in the quarry, the rebar will be removed from the concrete before it is crushed into 3/4-inch chunks for sale as road base. The demand for that product is strong, but the supply far exceeds the demand at this time or the quarry’s capacity to process it, so the chunks are being stockpiled. Soiland told the news agency.

“We flew a drone over it recently and estimate that we have 41,000 tons in here,” Soiland told the news agency, adding that there’s probably a three-year supply.

According to the Corps, the material is considered clean with no restrictions on its reuse. Tests for asbestos have all come back negative. The number of trucks delivering concrete to the quarry has tapered off as the first phase of cleanup winds down, but private contractors are continuing to bring in large amounts of material.