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State Focuses On Reuse, Recycling For New Waterbury Complex

State environmental officials say they’re pleased with how the demolition of the Waterbury State Office Complex is proceeding.

The $125 million overhaul comes after Tropical Storm Irene ruined much of the campus in 2011.

Officials say more than 90 percent of the construction debris in the office complex are being diverted from landfills.

According to testimony from officials in the Department of Environmental Conservation, contractors have been successful in diverting an "extraordinary" amount of material from landfills as they dismantle the old state office complex in Waterbury.

In the case of the Osgood Building, one of the hardest hit in Tropical Storm Irene, officials said more than 97 percent of the total building weight was diverted for reuse or recycling.

Trey Martin, an attorney for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said this work could serve as a model for future projects.

"The fact that the BGS identified so many ways to reuse materials and the fact that their contractor identified so many ways to do this from the get-go is the model that we want to set at the state for how you deconstruct and reuse the materials at a large project like this," he said.

The Department of Buildings and General Services is the state agency responsible for state facilities, which is faced with the task of managing the massive overhaul of the Waterbury complex.

The state is seeking LEED Gold certification for all the updated buildings.

Mike Stevens, the project administrator for the state, said the LEED environmental requirements aren’t just about the finished building.

"One of the requirements of the LEED Gold project is that we focus on diverting materials from the waste stream," he said.

Lawmakers called the hearing to clarify their understanding of the project.

Sen.John Rodgers, D-Essex-Orleans, is vice chairman of the Institutions Committee. He said he’d heard that trucks from the site were seen dumping their loads in areas that didn’t appear to be waste facilities.

Environmental officials said they had heard no such reports, but they would follow up on any complaints of that nature.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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