Soil reclamation ploughs savings into the Northern Ireland construction sector

After taking part in an Invest Northern Ireland environmental workshop, Portadown company, ReCon Waste Management has diverted almost 2,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from landfill resulting in significant cost savings for the company.

The workshop was part of Invest NI’s support for businesses that want to achieve cost benefits while enhancing their sustainability. It focused on the concept of industrial symbiosis which introduces businesses that have unused or wasted resources, such as materials, heat, transport, production capacity, skills or storage, to other businesses that could use those resources.

At the workshop ReCon was introduced to environmental consultant, Dr Mark McKinney of ATG, who was working on behalf of a construction company that needed a solution for some contaminated soil on a housing development site.

Following this ReCon came to an agreement with the company which led to the soil being recovered from the local construction site and brought to ReCon where it was put through a unique washing plant and waste management service to digest the contaminants in the soil.  This meant it could then be sold on to construction projects in Northern Ireland.

This result was cost savings of over 37% for the companies involved, by diverting the soil from landfill and avoiding costly gate fees.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, says: “The industrial symbiosis initiatives help provide solutions for using waste that often would otherwise end up in landfill. This provides cost savings for the companies involved and delivers significant resource efficiencies.”

Daniel Connolly, owner of ReCon, said: “Through my involvement in the Industrial Symbiosis Service I have been introduced to businesses and we have been able to collaborate to achieve not only significant cost savings but also generate additional sales.  This means that our businesses are more sustainable as well as being environmentally compliant. At ReCon we have heavily invested in processing equipment to produce re-constituted soils and aggregates from wastes such as road sweepings and sludges from road gullies.”