It turned out to be a good deal for everyone. A steel plant in Mingo Junction, Ohio needed to get rid of mounds of damp lime left over from the steelmaking process. A waste service company in nearby Cambridge, Ohio needed a substance to prepare material in a solidification pit for disposal. “A lot of the lime is used to help with the slag process. This plant, they don’t want anything left on site anymore. They want everything to leave and they encourage us to recycle it,” said Account Manager Josh Powers.
“It turned out to be kind of two pieces,” said Regional Manager Anthony Brown. “There was some lime. If you buy lime and get it wet, it will react to the moisture. They had a big pile of lime sitting out in a field that had long since reacted.” He said when the clean-up began, Powers and Environmental Project Manager Liz Shumaker found a place that would use the expended lime and not just bury it in a landfill but recycle the material for solidification.
“And, what, you might just ask, is a solidification pit?” Brown said. He said some companies have industrial byproducts such as grease and other liquids, which must be solidified ahead of disposal. The reacted lime acts as an excellent drying agent. “In a small picture way, that company would buy material to create solidification, so this is a good deal for them and for us. They use lime because that works, but they might have had to buy truckloads of sawdust,” Brown said.
Powers and Shumaker also found a company to recycle the leftover lime that has not yet reacted. “Think about how many loads of other stuff didn’t have to be driven, how much diesel didn’t have to be used and how much pollution didn’t have to go in the air,” Brown said. “That’s that carbon footprint piece. I give Josh and Liz all the credit. They did all the work on that; they made it happen.”
Brown said once the lime began to be transported from the plant property, there was much more than originally thought. “When we first started, we thought the outside pile was going to be two or four truckloads, but it turned out to be closer to 20 loads,” he said.
Shumaker said this same steel plant is also working on projects to recycle alloy left over from the steel manufacturing process as well as looking for alternative outlets for discarded wood. The JSW plant has installed a baler to begin recycling cardboard. “My other current focus is on a Chattanooga auto plant’s discarded wood,” she said. “(Account Manager) Sean Masten and I had a call this morning with one of our wood transporters and tasked them with trying to find an additional outlet to assist with the volume there.”