Turning waste into resource T

Don Procter Journal of Commerce

he rationale for recycling old carpet goes beyond diverting it from the landfill stream, however. "We are confident that this system will substantially

reduce the frequency and extent of road maintenance and replacement," says Mike Kolas, president of Antex Western Ltd. Te stabilizer was developed by Antex's sister company

ACM (Alternative Cementitious Materials) Technology several years ago and patented this spring. To date, there have been two applications, a demon-

stration project for the City of Winnipeg on the Bishop Grandin Trail for pedestrians, cyclists and city vehicles and for a parking lot for Antex's offices in Winnipeg. Both jobs were done five years ago and are in "perfect condi- tion" today, says Kolas, noting that other sections of the Bishop Grandin Trail paved at the same time without the stabilizer have been repaired several times since. Te trail project was monitored by a third party and

a University of Manitoba research group. Kolas says the cost of the parking lot was about the same as it would have been using a traditional gravel base. "In the end, we got something here that will last a lot

longer and result in less maintenance," he claims. When mixed with other components, the carpet fibres

— which take centuries to biodegrade — help create a stabilizer with ductility or elasticity that prevents the soil from cracking, extending road durability. Te carpet fibres also control subsoil moisture to increase the hydration period of the "soil cement," Kolas says, adding recycled carpet is easy to create and inexpensive. Traditionally, portland cement and/or lime are em-

ployed in a base to increase the compressive strength of soil in roadbuilding operations. Kolas says subgrade stabilization can be suitable in new

pavement construction (not just resurfacing) and based on one sample test the stabilized subgrade resulted in a 29 percent reduction in sub-base thickness compared to the non-stabilized section. In a flexible pavement design for existing pavement

rehabilitation, the stabilized sub-base resulted in a 36 percent reduction in base thickness compared to the non- stabilized design. "Tis not only results in a cost reduction but greatly reduces the environmental impact of trucking the gravel base to and from the project site," he states.

Pictured is the Bishop Grandin subsoil project in Manitoba. The carpet fibres are seen here after application prior to mixing into the subsoil for the trail. Photo credit: Antex Western Ltd.

While other soil stabilizers add compressive strength to

subgrade, "they are very brittle," which led to cracking and moisture infiltration — a major cause of road deterioration during freeze-thaw cycles, he points out. Kolas says while the stabilizer has yet to be specified for

any road projects in Winnipeg, he believes it is inevitable that the product will find a market, if not under Winnipeg roads than under streets, highways, rural roads and park- ing lots in other areas across Canada and the U.S. Trek Geotechnical Inc. was retained to conduct inde-

pendent tests in the field and lab of the stabilizer on both of Antex's projects. Trek's principal Nelson Ferreira sees the merits of the stabilizer in "frost susceptible" soils such as the soft clays of Winnipeg to improve the strength of the clay, thereby extending the life of the road. Ferreira says while the city has been able to obtain gravel from a local limestone quarry for the granular base for its roads, it does not improve road performance as much as the stabilizer.

Furthermore, the quarry is being depleted. Using the

soil stabilizer reduces the need for gravel, he says, "and you can get better performance." Te stabilizer might need "one or two more tests" to confirm its performance abilities, he adds. Te only downside, says Ferreira, is that the stabilizer requires "a lot of handwork" and a tiller at- tachment is used on a loader to conduct the work. "It's not overly expensive though," Kolas says that of

the 12 billion square feet of carpet manufactured in the U.S. annually less than five percent of it is ever recycled. Canada's recycling record is even worse. As a flooring contractor, he has put "tens of thousands of tonnes of old carpet into landfill. I don't feel very good about that. Tis is a very sustainable way of dealing with that problem." Tis story first appeared in and is republished courtesy

of the Journal of Commerce, ConstructConnect’s western Canadian construction industry newspaper. For more stories like this visit

Keeping Manitoba’s economy liquid T

Bob Sandford

he perceived value of water in the world is changing. Globally, water is increasingly viewed to be as central a

commodity as energy in the on-going effort to achieve, sustain and advance satisfactory levels of economic and social development. We need energy to keep us mobile and to

power the machines upon which the pro- ductivity of our economy depends. We need water, however, not just to sustain ourselves and our highly productive agriculture but to make and operate the very machines and processes that keep Manitoba’s economy liquid. Tis October I had the great pleasure of

joining the Mayors and Reeves from 23 mu- nicipalities in Winnipeg Region and South Basin of Lake Winnipeg, who represent 68% of the population and 70% of the GDP along

with some of Canada’s leading experts as they began to grapple with the issue of lo- cal leadership with respect to water and our economy, It is clear that local leaders in Manitoba are

increasingly concerned about their ability to meet growing demands to maintain and build critical infrastructure and deliver core services while ensuring we are protecting and maintaining the health of our natural resources, water , and natural lands. It is very clear that they understand first

hand that flooding, drought, declining water quality, invasive species as well as extreme weather events threaten expensive infra- structure, strain service delivery, impact property values, interrupt supply chains and affect commodity prices – all taking a toll on already stretched operating budgets. With 1/3 of our infrastructure in need of upgrading or replacement to meet today’s

service demands, and to reduce our risk from extreme weather events, elected officials and senior decision-makers from all levels of government are faced with tough choices. Often, these choices are based upon the

traditional cost-benefit analysis frame- works. Within these frameworks, the ca- pacity of our natural systems and resources such as our aquifers, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and forests are not valued, or adequately ac- counted for or included in decision-making or traditional municipal asset management programs. Although this is a jurisdictionally com-

plicated and challenging problem it is heartening to see local leaders in Manitoba come together and begin to work through the details of how to inventory, measure, and adequately maintain our natural assets in order to protect our economy and our way of life now and for our future.

Bob Sandford is the EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

St. Andrews leads the way with new wastewater system W

Duncan Morrison

ater treatment in the Capital Region just got a lot clearer thanks to a funding announcement in the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews last month.

Te Manitoba Government has provided $3.5 million for

a Phase 2 forcemain and lift station required to continue developing the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews regional wastewater system in South St. Andrews that will see the new system carry wastewater to the existing sewer in West St. Paul. “Te funding is a culmination of 16 years of dedicated

work by the RM of St. Andrews, government leaders, mu- nicipal partners and project experts who have brought this project from the drafting board table to reality,” said Mayor George Pike of the RM of St. Andrews. “Tis will move the RM of St. Andrews in-step with other forward-thinking Manitoba municipalities for the greatest benefit for our RM's citizens as well as the Province of Manitoba.” According to Pike, the wins for the RM of St. Andrews on

the economic and environmental fronts were particularly rewarding for the entire region and the Red River corridor. “Tis is very much a major transition project for our mu- nicipality, moving us from singular septic tanks that can be

Fall 2017

Mayor George Pike with Minister of Municipal Rela- tions Jeff Wharton.

prone to individual leakage to a modern, secure aggregate water system that is designed to protect our watershed health,” said Pike. “On top of that, not only is the system a safeguard for our watershed but the connection to West St Paul is the most economically viable option and the project is coming in under forecast budget.” Jeff Wharton MLA for the Gimli constituency made the

announcement on behalf of the Manitoba Government’s investment in important new water and wastewater up- grades in the St. Andrews. “Our Progressive Conservative government continues to

make these important investments in local infrastructure that ensures Manitobans have access to modern, reliable water and wastewater services,” said MLA Wharton “Pro- jects like these are important to our communities. Together with our municipal partners, we will continue working to identify and invest in Manitoba’s water and wastewater infrastructure.” Te new South St. Andrews wastewater system will be a

low-pressure system. Tis is the type of sewer system most commonly used in lower-density areas and is the type of system that has most commonly been implemented in other Manitoba municipalities with similar population density. “Water and how we treat our wastewater is a critically

important subject for many of us. When it comes to look- ing after our water resources we must be cognizant of not only how our water stewardship efforts directly impact us today, but just as importantly, by what we leave for future generations to work and live with benefits throughout the entire region,” said Pike.

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