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For well over a decade INDOT has led the way in Indiana’s Greening the Government program efforts to reduce the amount of waste discarded from the department’s facilities and recycling those diverted waste materials. With the start of the new decade, INDOT continues to push its waste diversion and reuse efforts at its state facilities as well as on the state road construction projects.
Each year INDOT road construction and reconstruction projects reuse a great deal of waste materials produced during resurfacing and reconstruction activities. This is, by far, INDOT’s largest waste stream, averaging more than 1 million tons of reclaimed concrete and asphalt annually. With a record amount of construction projects scheduled for 2011, the amount of material recovered for reuse will likely increase to record amounts.
INDOT recycling activities also target special and universal wastes produced at department facilities, construction projects and along Indiana roadways. Special and universal wastes comprise items such as waste oil, tires, light bulbs and batteries.
INDOT operates hundreds of vehicles throughout the state and maintains thousands of miles of state roadways. As part of department and roadway maintenance, scrap tires and scrap tires pieces are recovered and disposed of properly In 2010, INDOT recycled more than 500 tons of waste tires and tire scraps from Indiana vehicles and roadways. A majority of the material is ground up and utilized as daily cover in state approved landfills. Some whole waste tires removed from INDOT vehicles are recapped for reuse and the department is currently developing a contract to sell its heavy duty truck waste tires for the purpose of recapping. This effort promises to further reduce tire waste and generate additional revenue for the department.
Through maintenance activities on vehicles and equipment, INDOT also creates additional special and universal wastes such as waste oil, fuel filters, antifreeze and vehicle light bulbs. INDOT in 2010 recycled more than 40,000 gallons of waste oil, which is re-refined by Safety Kleen of America to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) standards and sold back to state agencies for use in their vehicles and equipment. Indiana’s practice of re-refining and re-using oil has occurred for well over a decade.
In 2010, INDOT recycled more than 240 drums of vehicle and equipment related waste and approximately 50 drums of universal waste, including light bulbs, household batteries and waste ballasts.
The department’s road construction, road maintenance and vehicle maintenance activities also involve the recovery and recycling of scrap steel and scrap aluminum. The recovered material, including road signs and posts, guard railings and vehicle and miscellaneous steel and aluminum, are sold to vendors at market competitive prices.
Since the initial Greening the Government Executive Order was signed in 1999, INDOT facilities have focused on reducing the amount of discarded municipal solid waste. Across the state, more than 100 INDOT facilities have developed comprehensive recycling programs that focus on the recycling of cardboard, paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass containers and steel food tins.
Through the efforts of INDOT employees statewide, the department has significantly reduced the amount of waste entering Indiana’s landfills as well as the costs associated with waste disposal. This has reduced taxpayer costs and landfill need, provided feedstock for industry throughout the state to produce new goods, and helped create jobs in the waste diversion and recycling industries.
Developmental Specialist-Facilities Management
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave. IGCN
Indianapolis, IN 46204