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Good Question: What’s Happening To All Of That Metrodome Debris?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the Metrodome’s demolition was like a Vikings football game, we’d be in the final few minutes of the last quarter.

Anyone who has driven by the facility over the past few weeks has likely noticed the demolition is almost complete.

“All we have left is to clear the site of the rubble,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Since the roof of the Metrodome was deflated two months ago, Minnesota-based Frattalone Companies has been working to remove everything from the site and figure out where it should be disposed.

Among the materials they plan to recycle: 80,000 tons of concrete, 4,500 tons of structural steel, 25 tons of precious metals and 300 tons of roof cables.

“We were running 30 trucks in and out of the project on a daily basis,” said Scott Spisak, a business development manager with Frattalone Companies.

Much of the building was concrete. Most of that material now sits mangled in a yard in Little Canada.

Frattalone will crush it and process it before selling it to be used to build streets and highways. Most of that concrete is expected to be used for roads in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

“The economics of recycling concrete aggregate are such that you have to use it within a fairly short distance,” Spisak said. “The haul costs get too high, so it’s typically a 25-40 mile radius.”

The roof will be used for tarps on other projects. You might remember part of last Metrodome roof that collapsed from snow in 2011 was sold to build bags.

Most of the metal is now being stored at AMG Alliance, a scrap and recycling facility in South St. Paul. Pipes, pillars, rebar and the metal cables that held up the roof will be crushed and processed before being sold to companies that make roads, bridges, buildings and homes.

“It could end up local, you know, domestic, maybe even some international, but I expect a good chunk of it will stay here in the United States,” said Shane Alsdurf with AMG Alliance.

Ultimately, the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority thinks more than 80 percent of the Metrodome will be used somewhere again. Due to the timing of the project, crews don’t expect it to be used in the new stadium.

“One of the things the governor and legislature really was concerned about is that as much would be recycled and reused as possible,” Kelm-Helgen said.

She says the request for proposals for the demolition required a minimum 80 percent of everything on the site be recycled or reused.

Some of the materials, like sheetrock and drywall, are not able to be recycled, according to Spisak. He says those materials and anything else considered solid waste will end up in a landfill licensed for municipal solid waste.

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