Aggregate Industries reclamation project underway

By |  September 22, 2017

Aggregate Industries launched a land reclamation project at its Saugus Quarry in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Aggregate Industries’ Saugus Quarry will be reclaimed in the next 15 years. Photos courtesy of LafargeHolcim

The Saugus granite quarry has minimal reserves left after being in operation since the 1930s. Aggregate Industries continues to blast occasionally at the site, but operations have slowed since the mid-2000s, according to the company. The site also features two asphalt plants, a ready-mix concrete plant and a maintenance facility.

Aggregate Industries has been planning a reclamation project for the quarry, which is expected to take 15 years to dump 7 million cu. yd. of fill into the quarry. The company has discussed the reclamation project for the past 10 years. The company and the town’s Aggregate Post Closure Committee have met frequently over the past year to develop a land reclamation plan that all parties can accept.

“The last 10 years we focused on what this would look like and how it would develop,” says Lisa Young, regional manager of land and environment for Aggregate Industries’ Northeast Region. “We came into an agreement with the town that existing operations [at the asphalt plants and ready-mix concrete plant] will stay and continue afterward. Both the company and the town of Saugus are looking for a good end use, most likely a multi-use type of development, which is becoming popular in the area.”

The agreement between Aggregate Industries and the town lists offices, housing, retail, biotechnology and insurance as some examples of possible uses for the redeveloped rock quarry.

From left: Erik Muller, general manager of RMX & Aggregates; Scott Crabtree, Saugus town manager; Lisa Young, regional manager of environment and land services at Aggregate Industries; and Brad Kohl, head of the Northeast/Great Lakes West region at LafargeHolcim. Photos courtesy of LafargeHolcim

Representatives from Aggregate Industries’ Northeast Region and its parent company, LafargeHolcim, hosted an open house in June to allow members of the town’s Aggregate Post Closure Committee to walk around the site and learn how the reclamation project will work.

“This is a first-of-a-kind project for the Aggregate Industries Northeast Region,” Young adds. “It’s stepping outside our core business.”

Once the reclamation project ramps up, the quarry will receive about 250 to 300 trucks of soil per day, according to Aggregate Industries. Trucks that carry fill for the quarry will be weighed on a scale upon arrival, and trucks will be visually inspected and photographed for issues with the soil or delivery.

One of the biggest takeaways Aggregate Industries gained through this project has been the value of listening.

“It’s incredibly important to be good listeners and come to agreements that work for the company and the community,” Young says. “We saw importance in listening to [the community] and hearing what they had to say. This project has spanned 10 years. We got a lot more work done when everyone sat at a table together and worked through problems to come to resolutions.”

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