Founded in 1946, Long Island, New York-based Posillico Inc. has grown steadily to become a premier engineering company in the Tri-State area and a go-to resource for public works projects in New York. York.
Founded by Joseph D. Posillico Sr., the now fourth-generation family business started out as a small trucking entrepreneur. Today, Posillico provides a range of integrated services, including heavy civil works for the public and private sectors, environmental remediation, paving, drilling and public service contracts.
Now approaching its 50th year of operation, Posillico Materials, the company’s business unit specializing in the production of recycled sand, aggregate and clay, is helping to reinvent the way companies manage waste with the support of wet processing technology supplied by CDE based in Northern Ireland.
Clean up the island
Building on its commitment to environmental responsibility, Posillico Materials has recognized the need in recent years to help address growing concerns about soil pollution and the capacity of Long Island landfills.
“There is a great need to clean up the island,” says Thomas Posillico, head of the company’s hardware division.
For many years, Long Island has been plagued by pollution from toxic landfills and mismanagement of industrial waste. With soil pollution having the potential to negatively affect the island’s groundwater and drinking water via three major source aquifers close to the Earth’s surface, the Posillico team identified the urgency to help solve this problem.
Historically, contaminated soil would be transported off the island where it would be landfilled. A decade and a half ago, Posillico began investing in floor mopping technology to help remedy this problem without having to haul the soil away. Although this technology has helped Posillico remove contaminants, extract value and reuse land wisely, the various suppliers and equipment the company relied on did not deliver the hoped-for efficiency gains. by the company.
“Our history with washing floors goes back over 15 years,” explains Robert Tassey, Plant Manager at Posillico. “We had designed a factory. We called it the Frankenstein Factory because we took a piece of equipment from here, a piece of equipment from there, and we put it all together.
Tassey says a chance meeting with CDE representatives at a CONEXPO-CON / AGG conference several years ago helped him see how the company’s wet processing technologies could benefit Posillico by allowing more uniformity.
After initial discussions, Posillico made a commitment to CDE for the company to design and build a new washing station on site.
Using a co-creation approach to develop the system, CDE worked collaboratively with Posillico to understand their requirements and design needs. Once these understood, CDE built a wet treatment solution that would enable the company to achieve its vision of sustainable and cost-effective treatment of contaminated soils.
“We spent about a year and a half on the design. We have various laws and requirements that we have to meet here, and CDE was absolutely willing to help us make any adjustments necessary at the plant to meet our regulatory requirements, ”Tassey said.
“Posillico and CDE share a very similar commitment to innovation,” he continues. “Neither company is afraid to take the plunge. Neither company is afraid to push the limits of what is possible.
After taking into account the smallest footprint of the Posillico site of approximately 3 acres as well as the company’s processing requirements, CDE came up with a bespoke wet processing solution that would enable the efficient processing of the incoming contaminated sand material. and high quality washed building aggregates. As an advantage, Posillico’s urban location was ideal due to its proximity to source material derived from projects around New York City.
Once the project was conceptualized, installation, Tassey says, was straightforward as the plant was assembled and subjected to factory acceptance testing.
“Most of the parts are modular, which made installation quick and efficient,” he says.
A first of its kind in North America, Posillico’s new recycling system became operational in May 2019. The system incorporates a host of technologies, including: CDE’s R2500 primary scalping screen feed system, washer AggMax portable log, the M4500 with integrated attrition cells to clean fine material and remove contaminants, CFCU for density separation, EvoWash fine material classification system, AquaCycle thickener and PlatePress to remove waste and increase water recycling.
Posillico Inc. Director Michael Posillico said: “When I visited CDE, I knew I had chosen the right company to work with, and I could see it from the design workshop, down to the people who tested the equipment, to the people in charge.
“It is the largest floor washing plant in the world,” he adds. “Not only is it the largest, but it is also the most sophisticated factory. “
Thomas Posillico says: “This is really a one-of-a-kind operation that can take so many different varieties of soil and run it through the same plant. No one does something like this on Long Island or the United States to my knowledge. “
Maximize material, minimize impact
Being one of the largest and most advanced contaminated soil washing facilities in the world, the Posillico washing plant enjoys a high material recovery rate. Posillico can now reduce the inappropriate content of its incoming raw materials to around 10% on average, with the remaining 90% being diverted from landfill.
The Long Island facility has the capacity to recycle up to 3,000 tonnes of soil per day while simultaneously recovering high-value recyclable and salable products such as sand and aggregate that meet Department of Sanitation standards. New York State Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
With help from the washing plant, Posillico now produces a range of materials, including concrete and masonry sands, as well as three different aggregates: ¼ inch to 5/8 inch, 5/8 inch to 1 inch and 1 ¼ inch to 4 inches.
As a vertically integrated operation, over 60% of the sand and certified aggregate recycled on site is used by Posillico Materials in the production of asphalt, with the remainder being sold directly to the market.
Due to the variable nature of contaminated soils, the Posillico wash station can accept a wide variety of feed materials including excavation waste, recognizable and uncontaminated material (RUCARB), contaminated landfill, waste dredging, mixed loads and more.
In its first months of operation, the plant treated over 65,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from a 12-acre brownfield site known as Harbor Isle in Nassau County, New York. Located on the grounds of a former Cibro oil storage facility, the site’s soil and groundwater had been contaminated for decades with fuel and oil and was the subject of a major remediation project.
Despite the deeply contaminated nature of this material, Posillico’s investment in CDE solutions made soil treatment easier.
“You name it, this CDE plant can process it,” says Tassey. “We can now feed not only on contaminated material, but also on our unsuitable site fill, excavation waste and drill cuttings. “
In addition to processing materials from its own operations, the plant is available to process materials from other local construction and engineering companies. This helps reduce the cost of waste disposal, divert potentially valuable materials from landfills, and reduce a company’s carbon footprint by reducing the need to transport materials off the island.
Tassey says: “With the increase in population, [New York’s] infrastructure is aging. The focus must be on reconstruction and investing in our infrastructure. With that, there is going to be a ton of material that has to be dealt with, and it has to be handled responsibly and efficiently. The way to do it is to recycle it in a factory like ours. “
The start of something important
Sean O’Leary, CDE CustomCare Director for North America, explains that the changing nature of the material flow is one of the reasons CDE’s relationship with clients like Posillico is ongoing. This includes regular follow-ups and support.
“What we do is maintain that relationship with the customer through parts, service, technical advice and just the overall operation of the plant,” says O’Leary.
“It’s never a stable feed material, so you always make adjustments at the plant to make sure you get the requirements you need,” O’Leary continues.
It is this symbiotic relationship between CDE and Posillico that was so vital in helping the company run its plant during its early years of operation, said Michael Posillico.
“We believe in a sustainable future and, along with our CDE partners, we are uniquely positioned to ease the burden of virgin materials in the tri-state region through our washing plant,” he says.
“We are examining every aspect of our operations to see where we can minimize our environmental impact and reaffirm our commitment to sustainability on Long Island,” he continues. “These are attributes that are also reflected in the design of the plant itself, which operates with fully electric drives and recycles up to 90% of the process water we use. Not only that, but we collect and recycle 3.6 million gallons of stormwater each year to maintain our make-up water supply. What we have here is the start of something really important.
This article originally appeared in Sept./Oct. issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine. Darren Eastwood is the Director of Business Development for CDE. He can be contacted at [email protected]