COOS BAY, OREGON (JULY 29, 2013) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that, since 2003, more than 170 million tons of construction and demolition waste from job sites is produced each year. This raises a significant question as to where exactly all the waste goes after it has been removed from a job site. Whether it is wood, concrete, or steel, government and local authorities’ largely dictate what and how waste is sorted before it is sent away to landfills with often little concern of repurposing. It is not a requirement for construction firms to take an extra level of responsibility for the waste that is created by demolition and replacement work aside from following the guidelines that are in place. However, many of the materials that come from construction and demolition (C&D) debris have a high potential for recycling. West Coast Contractors, an Oregon-based heavy construction company, has developed innovative ways to make constructive use of the debris that they remove from job sites.
A commitment to the community
Based out of Coos Bay, OR, West Coast Contractors has built their reputation over the past 50 years as being one of the premier heavy construction companies in the Pacific Northwest region. Having one of the most extensive fleets of heavy equipment in the region adds to their expertly managed construction teams that can respond to any level of civil engineering contract they are awarded. This can include bridges, marine construction, road repair, pile driving, demolition, foundation lying, and more. With continued growth even through difficult times, they never lose sight of the people and communities that they work for.
To WCC, it isn’t about the size of the job that matters, but rather the impact that the scope of their work has on the people and communities around them. WCC has developed their innovative Project Control System which makes them an industry leader in both planning and project management. The PCS creates a structured, yet flexible, outline for each phase of a project which specifies crucial tasks and responsibilities that must be met and responds to unforeseen challenges that arise. They understand that peoples’ daily lives can be affected by repair work, and if there is an opportunity to lend a hand while conducting their duties on the job site, WCC will account for it in their planning. An example of PCS coming into play in one of WCC’s current projects repairing Sweet Creek Road in Lane County, OR, where they have made trade-off with one of the local residents.
WCC is in the process of repairing a quarter-mile section of the roadway which connects 70 residential homes and thousands of acres of timberland to the city of Mapleton and Highway 126. Due to the close proximity of the section to the Siuslaw River and years of deterioration as a result of weather, it had eventually slipped down the hillside where it was located, and effectively reducing it down to a single lane. Before WCC could begin any of the repair work, they had to first prepare the site by bringing in an excavation crew to remove the debris that had been left in the way. WCC was able to strike a deal with a local man from nearby Florence, OR who was in need of gravel to fill a ditch that he had on his property. In exchange for allowing WCC to dump the many thousands of pounds of debris that they had collected from the project site, WCC went above and beyond relocating the debris on his property by building a bridge that he also needed, free of charge.
There will always be a need for the type of work that WCC seeks because it is not always the most glamorous or highest-paying contracts. Rather, taking on jobs of a more challenging nature allows WCC to positively impact the communities that it serves.
Founded in 1962, WCC is a general contractor that specializes in heavy construction projects including bridges, harbors, marine facilities, and governmental work. WCC is renowned for construction jobs that are able to withstand severe weather conditions, and is a leader in developing environmentally sound procedures for sensitive locations. Clients include the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, states of Oregon and California, Chevron, NOAA, Roseburg Forest Products, and the Ports of Morrow, Newport and Coos Bay.