Recycling & Waste Diversion
Since Indiana's Greening the Government program started in 1999 the efforts of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to reduce the amount of waste discarded from the facilities and recycling those diverted waste materials have remained consistent. Well into the 21st century, INDOT continues to push its waste diversion and reuse efforts at its state facilities as well as on the state road construction projects.
Construction & Facility Waste
Each year INDOT recovers a great deal of waste materials for reuse produced during construction and maintenance activities. This is, by far, INDOT’s largest waste stream, averaging more than 1 million tons of reclaimed concrete, asphalt and steel annually. With continued rehabilitation and construction projects throughout the State of Indiana for 2016 reusable materials associated with these activities will continue to comprise a majority of our recoverable materials.
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 according to State regulations. On average INDOT recycles 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.
In 2013 the department initiated a program with local vendors where whole waste tires removed from INDOT vehicles are sold for retreading purposes generating a revenue stream for the department. In the four years the program has been in place the department has sold over 700 heavy duty truck tires and generated over $40,000 for the department.
Through maintenance activities on vehicles and equipment, INDOT also creates additional special and universal wastes such as waste oil, oil filters, antifreeze and vehicle light bulbs. Since 2012 INDOT has recycled over 100,000 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 been an on-going program that started in 1999 since the establishment of the Greening the Government program.
For the calendar year 2015, INDOT recycled more than 290 drums of vehicle and equipment related waste and approximately 2,500 light bulbs and over 500 pounds of alkaline and lead acid batteries.
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 - Office of Fleet Management
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave. IGCN
Indianapolis, IN 46204