The Public Works Construction & Maintenance Division recycles
in some unusual ways. Concrete, asphalt, and street bricks all have a second life in the City of Lakeland. This not only saves landfill space, but also saves the City money – more than $1,000,000 in 2006. When sidewalks and curbs are removed, the concrete is taken to the C&M yard where it is crushed and screened to reuse as road base, right-of-way fill, and sidewalk foundations. It is also used as a foundation when new storm pipes are installed. In calendar year 2006, more than 351 tons of crushed concrete were reused by Construction & Maintenance crews, resulting in an annual savings to the City of $5,000.
Asphalt that is removed from the streets is either taken to the yard
as millings, or is crushed at the yard and screened just like the concrete. Both of these products are used for road bases, and to fill in alleys. They are used to build up the edge of pavement on roads, and are frequently used by other departments in their repair work. In calendar year 2006, C&M used 44,169 tons of milled asphalt, resulting in an annual savings of $883,380.
Dirt that is removed in preparation for road, sidewalk, and other construction work is screened stockpiled for use in filling in right of way that has eroded. It is used to backfill around new sidewalk and curbs, and in construction of tree boxes in the downtown streetscape. In calendar year 2006, C&M used 3398 tons of fill dirt, saving $203,880 annually.
When asphalt is removed from brick streets in preparation for returning them to their original state, street bricks that have been removed from other locations are used to replaced those that are too broken to use. Many people ask if we give away or sell the old bricks, but since exact matches are not available, they are treated like gold here.
Of course, the environmentally aware workers recycle in traditional ways, too. Paper, newspaper, cardboard, and plastic cans and bottles are routinely recycled.