Waste Treatment and Disposal Costs for the Ready-Mixed Concrete Industry

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Title: Waste Treatment and Disposal Costs for the Ready-Mixed Concrete Industry

Author(s): C. Leon Parker and Michael W. Slimak

Publication: Journal Proceedings

Volume: 74

Issue: 7

Appears on pages(s): 281-287

Keywords: aggregates; costs; industrial wastes; industrial waste treatment; ready-mixed concrete; waste disposal; waste treatment; waste water;water treatment.

Date: 7/1/1977

Abstract:
The ready-mixed concrete industry has a variety of wastes which must be treated and/or disposed of, including returned concrete, truck washings, central mixer washings, and yard washdown. Approximately 95 percent of the more than 8000 ready-mixed concrete plants in the United States have some form of waste water treatment system. Over 80 percent are using settling ponds for removing solids from their waste water. Less than 2 percent presently control the pH of discharged waste water. As federal, state, and local regulations are promulgated many of the existing treat-ment/ disposal systems will require modification or else new systems will have to be installed. This article is aimed at providing information to companies faced with these changes and, hopefully, to aid them in the selection and design of their individual treatment/disposal facilities. Sensitivity analysis techniques are used to determine the pertinent costs and cost interactions involved in the selection of new or modified waste treatment/disposal facilities. Results of the analyses show that there is no clean-cut general cost advantage for any of the treatment/disposal systems. The lower capital investment and maintenance costs’ for simple pond systems as compared with more complicated waste recovery and reuse systems are largely offset by higher waste disposal costs. Use of the cost methodology developed in the article makes it possible to explore various options and arrive at an optimum solution based on individual plant conditions. The most pertinent parameters for consideration are environmental and neighborhood restrictions, labor requirements, and waste disposal costs.