In spite of its demise and demolition, Hoquiam’s Harbor Paper mill is benefiting several projects in Grays Harbor and surrounding counties. In fulfilling its clean-up and demolition responsibilities, the Grays Harbor Public Utility District has worked with state, county and city offices to find cheaper alternatives to the costly landfill disposal of thousands of tons of sand ash, a bark/rock mixture and the concrete remains of the mills wastewater treatment facility.
When the PUD first examined the clean-up of the mill site, the estimated final cost to demolish the treatment facility and dispose of tens-of-thousands of tons of waste materials was over $10-million. Working within the guidelines set by the Department of Ecology and Grays Harbor County Health Department, Special Projects Manager John Pellegrini was able to find less costly ways to responsibly utilize those materials, in most cases reusing the materials on current and future projects.
“This is an example of innovative thinking being used to work a problem and arrive at a solution benefiting multiple parties,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward. “Our Special Projects Manager was asked to value engineer every portion of our clean-up work at Harbor Paper. As a result, we came up with beneficial uses for tons of materials that saved the PUD money and aided several other projects.”
The alternative methods of disposal include:
- Working with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to have over 15,000 tons of sand ash declared a registered fertilizer. As a registered fertilizer, the sand ash was marketed to over 30 customers for land application in Grays Harbor, Pacific, Mason, Lewis and Thurston counties.
- Working with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Ecology, Mason County Environmental Health, and Grays Harbor Environmental Health to have 20,000 tons of bark/rock mixture deemed acceptable for use as organic material for the surface mine reclamation project in Mason County.
- Partnering with the City of Aberdeen to utilize over 10,000 tons of recycled concrete aggregate from the wastewater treatment plant. The processed concrete material will be hauled by contract drivers to locations in the City of Aberdeen for use as ballast on future projects.
The alternative uses of the Harbor Paper site materials will allow the PUD to save an estimated total of over $460,000 in landfill tipping fees. The PUD will be responsible for the yet to be determined cost of transporting the materials from the mill site.
Under its agreement with Rayonier Properties, LLC, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the facility’s water treatment system and remove solid byproducts including the basin sludge and piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash, and boiler grate material.