Short Term
Long Term
Setting a Precedent


Recycling and Reclamation Plan
By Erika Granger

In the process of significantly depopulating New Orleans, a considerable amount of material remnants of urban civilization will remain.  Many of these materials can be recycled; such as, concrete, asphalt, asphalt shingles, vinyl siding, metal (e.g. iron, copper, aluminum, etc.), and some kinds of wood (e.g. cypress, cedar, etc.).  In order to reuse these valuable resources, a subsidiary committee of the Environmental Task Force (part of the Louisiana Recovery Authority) will coordinate the reclamation process.  This subdivision will work with organizations already involved in the reclamation process (such as the Green Project) and private businesses.  The government would offer to buy out private businesses and integrate their owners/employees into the infrastructure of the enterprise (owners would become coordinators/managers and employees would be offered a job similar to the position they held in the private company).  This subdivision of the Environmental Task Force will function by utilizing some of the infrastructure already in place for the cleansing of New Orleans.

Collection and deconstruction efforts will begin in the center of the city and proceed outwards.  Metals such as steel, copper, and aluminum can be sold to established commercial processing facilities (Aluminum & Stainless Inc., Production Supply Co Inc., and Dominion Metals USA Inc., etc.) (MagicYellow, 2006). It is uncertain if established facilities are able to process all of the scrap concrete, asphalt, vinyl siding, shingles, etc.. To handle this overflow, the city of New Orleans should build temporary processing facilities.  If needed, these facilities will be built in the industrial area of the Lower Ninth Ward (City of New Orleans, 2006).  In addition, more dump trucks, and other deconstruction equipment, than the amount currently owned by the city may be needed.

The goal of the reclamation and recycling project is to reduce cost of reconstruction.  By purchasing reusable raw materials from residents of New Orleans, processing them, and then selling them to construction companies below market prices, the city of New Orleans will be taking advantage of convenient located and available materials while indirectly compensating residents for the damage from Hurricane Katrina.  Buying out private businesses and offering jobs to their former employees decreases the cost of training a set of completely new workers.

Some of the cost of reclamation will depend on the number of new dump trucks needed.  A rough estimation of this cost would be to take the price of a truck, approximately $100,000, multiplied by the number of trucks needed (probably 10) which would make $1 million.  The cost of processing facilities, assuming only three new facilities will need to be built, will be close to $500,000 (Edgecombe et al, 2003).  This estimate includes the expenditures associated with: concrete/asphalt processing, siding and shingle processing.  The initial costs will total at least $2.5 million, also there will also be the recurring cost of employing the reclamation crew.   However, some revenue will be regained through the process of resale of the recycled materials and the extra dump trucks.  For instance, if the process takes 2 years then the dump trucks can be resold for $800,000.00 (10% of original price is the depreciation per year) (Village of Glen Ellyn, 2006).