The two words jumped off the page at Annie Harala: “waste rock.”
The News Tribune’s March 19 “Our View” editorial was headlined, “Start seeing waste rock as an asset, reader urges.” It was about the 6- to 12-ton boulders being stockpiled near Duluth’s Lakewalk for a project this year to shore up and reinforce the waterfront and to help hold back destructive storm waves. The 76,000 tons of rock are coming from a quarry north of Two Harbors, where they are blasted to specific sizes and shapes needed for the project, the editorial explained. The rocks are not coming from the $800 million Essentia Health Vision Northland project just a few blocks away. A reader wanted to know why.
Harala was concerned that the editorial left the impression that the rock being blasted and removed from the Essentia site was just being discarded. She wanted to set the record straight about what Northland Constructors of Duluth, where she does business development and communications, is doing with what’s being blasted and removed.
“It’s actually not garbage rock. We actually reuse all of it,” Harala told the News Tribune Opinion page. “When we truck it out, it actually becomes a number of other things. We bring it to our facilities, and it turns into aggregate for road projects. It could become riprap on other projects. We reuse all of that stuff that we move to other places. Such a big part of the construction industry is actually the moving of materials, and so we’re moving materials from (the Essentia site), and it really is being utilized in other construction projects.”
The Lakewalk project was considered for the rock from the Essentia site, “but it wasn’t viable,” Harala said. Northland Constructors utilizes several facilities for processing rock from projects. Where it goes depends on what it’s to be used for next.
“We’re not wasting anything,” she said. “Really, when you look at reducing and reusing, we’re reusing a ton of stuff to make things all throughout our region.We have a really earth-rich environment, and we can use this rock and use sand from other places, and we work as hard as we can to ensure that we’re using area things to build up our community in a great way.”
Consider this record straightened.