Eielson sells tons of recycled asphalt to local buyer – Fairbanks Daily News

September 23, 2014 Posted by admin

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 12:00 am

Eielson sells tons of recycled asphalt to local buyer

Weston Morrow
wmorrow@newsminer.com

newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS — Eielson Air Force Base has unloaded 160 million pounds of recycled asphalt to several buyers in the Fairbanks area, marking the largest sale of scrap material in the history of the United States Department of Defense.

The 160 million pounds of asphalt equates to roughly 57,500 cubic yards, or, as the Department of Defense characterized it —186 Boeing 747 airplanes. For those not familiar with the mass of commercial aircraft, the sale can also be considered in terms of its comparison to famous ships — 160 million pounds is equal to 1.4 times the mass of the Titanic — or precious metal extraction — it is just less than half the mass of all gold ever mined, according to Wolfram Alpha.

The millions of pounds of recycled asphalt were sold in several clumps during the last few years to a handful of buyers. The most recent buyer is the owner of Chena Hot Springs, Bernie Karl, who purchased about 38 million pounds of the recycled asphalt through his company KK Recycling.

Karl said he wasn’t sure exactly how much of the asphalt they had purchased but estimated it at something like 19,000 tons.

He said the company has had a truck hauling 30 ton loads of the asphalt from Eielson every day since the sale earlier this year and plans to continue hauling as much as possible every day until the roads become too slick with ice to continue.

“Everything can be recycled, and I give the military high marks, especially Eielson, because they didn’t have to recycle that,” Karl said. “They could have just put it in a hole and buried it, and I’m just tickled to death that they didn’t do that.”

The recycled asphalt sold by Eielson was reclaimed from old paving of runways and roads on the base. Not only can asphalt be recycled, it was actually named the number one recycled product in America in 1993 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration. 

Once pulled up from its original placement, the asphalt can be ground down and laid down several more times over its lifespan. The Federal Highways Administration claims the process is significantly cheaper and more environmentally friendly than using new asphalt.

Karl’s purchase is one of three recent buys, totaling 64.4 million pounds of the asphalt, according to Melissa Gieringer, a spokesperson for Liquidity Services, the company that handles surplus sales for the Department of Defense.

Much of the recycled asphalt purchased by Karl has gone into new infrastructure at Chena Hot Springs, he said. That infrastructure includes a parking lot at the hot springs resort and paved trails and four-wheeler paths in the surrounding area.

“It just looks awesome,” he said. “You roll it, and I’m telling you it sets up almost like asphalt.”

Karl’s company purchased the asphalt in two batches, one last year and one in 2014. He said he couldn’t recall the exact price of the asphalt but said he thought it was several dollars per yard.

Gieringer said Liquidity Services cannot release the names of buyers without their consent because the sales are made through a sealed bid process, though she did say that all of the purchases have remained in the state.

Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter:

@FDNMschools.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 12:00 am.


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Article source: http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/eielson-sells-tons-of-recycled-asphalt-to-local-buyer/article_4ebafba4-42ec-11e4-9a22-0017a43b2370.html

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