UMR Group achieves near-zero waste on an industrial demolition project
United Metals Recycling Group set a high bar when it achieved a 98% recycling rate on the demolition of two industrial units in the Shannon Free Zone.
Over 35% of the European Union’s total waste generation comes from construction and demolition (C&D), of which it is estimated that approximately 50% gets recycled. In Ireland, this figure is lower due to a lack of indigenous recycling facilities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 6.2 million tonnes of C&D waste was generated in Ireland in 2018.
C&D waste comprises many different materials, including soil, stone, concrete, brick, tile and gypsum waste. The treatment route for most C&D waste is backfilling.
Over 75% of C&D waste in Ireland is soil and stone, yet only one facility is approved for end-of-waste to produce recycled aggregate.
Over 3% of overall C&D waste in Ireland is metals. As one of the country’s leading demolition contractors, United Metals Recycling (UMR) Group’s services include managing and certifying the recycling and disposal of waste for LEED-certified projects. It has vast experience managing waste compliance on demolition projects and has the haulage capabilities and permits to transport waste. It also provides bins and skips of various sizes to facilitate the segregation and safe collection of all materials on site. UMR Group helps its clients streamline their compliance with waste disposal directives and ensures waste is removed quickly and efficiently.
Shannon Free Zone Project
In 2020, UMR Group was contracted for the demolition and waste management for Bays 77 and 79 in the Shannon Free Zone for Shannon Commercial Properties. The demolition provided 1.034 hectares of fully serviced sites for redevelopment.
UMR Group commenced works in late Sept 2020. As the project was to be a LEED-certified project, UMR was engaged to assist the project to claim credits in various categories.
LEED supports projects to implement sustainable and healthy building practices to realise environmental, economic, social and community benefits for decades to come.
LEED champion on the project Rebecca Reidy says there were several LEED prerequisites and requirements to be managed to assist the client in attaining LEED credits in order for the final project to achieve its LEED target.
“UMR Group provided substantive paperwork as evidence for the LEED submissions, including erosion and sedimentation plans, demolition waste management plans, weekly inspections, reports and completed audits, along with appointing a dedicated LEED champion to manage the project and compile weekly reports and capture all waste disposal documentation.
“We also demonstrated project-specific methodologies for compliance with legislative and contractual obligations to manage and control waste for the project.”
Glass panels from the roofs were offered to adjacent units to be reused to replace damaged panels.
Metals being separated for processing.
Demolition waste management plan
UMR Group has industry knowledge, experience, and commercial relationships to ensure as many materials as possible are recycled. It approaches each project individually to identify opportunities to reuse and repurpose materials.
Niall Casey, Project Manager, UMR Group, explains that the demolition waste management plan (DWMP) for Bays 77 and 79 was prepared in accordance with the General Principles of Prevention, the waste hierarchy and best practice. A DWMP seeks to demonstrate how works can be planned to be delivered in a logistical, sensible, and safe sequence while managing where demolition materials can be reused, recycled, and disposed of appropriately.
“The project’s DWMP goal was to reduce total waste material and the diversion of 75% of demolition and construction waste from landfill by identifying five or more waste streams to be segregated, either on-site or off-site,” Niall Casey explains. “Upon completion of demolition, UMR Group had achieved a recycling rate of over 98%, with the identification of six waste streams (Plastic, WEEE, timber, metals, glass, and bulky waste), with over 87 tonnes of materials recycled. The materials arising from hard demolition (ie, brick, stone, etc) were crushed on-site, and materials certified to 6F2 recycled aggregate and stockpiled on site for the client to reuse when construction commences.”
Bay 77 before works began.
The deconstructed Bay 77 before removal of walls.
“The bay roofs contained numerous glass panels, which were carefully removed,” continues Casey. “Those in good condition were offered to adjacent units as they could be reused to replace damaged panels in future. The remaining glass was sent to Gannon Eco, which recycles glass, with some glass reused in the filtration systems for domestic water treatment plants.”
Prior to UMR Group coming on site, the client offered any furniture, such as chairs and desks, to the public. These types of initiatives help drive circularity and the reuse of materials.
UMR Group engaged noise, dust and vibration monitoring and had dust suppression strategies in operation on site. It managed hazardous waste, specifically asbestos removal, on this project, although these materials do not form part of the overall waste recycling strategy as they require specific disposal.
The UMR Group approach
UMR Group staff are kept up to date on the latest practices in the segregation of material on site into specific waste streams. This ties in closely with the company’s risk assessment method statements (RAMs) and how its works are planned and executed UMR Group specialises in carrying out complete building strip-outs – from floor to ceiling and wall to wall – giving the client back a blank canvas. This experience and practice are also utilised in complete demolition and redevelopment projects, as it allows the contractor to maximise the segregation and recycling of materials.
The methodologies UMP Group uses are continuously interrogated and developed during and after each project, incorporating any new industry advances.
Client: Shannon Commercial Properties
Environmental Consultants: Meehan Green
Demolition Contractor: United Metals Recycling Group