In the business world, symbiotic relationships don’t get any better than the partnership forged between Vulcan Materials Company and its next door neighbor, the Richland County C&D Landfill and Drop-off Center.
Vulcan needed a place to put tons of dirt moved from its Dreyfus Quarry off Caughman Road North. Richland County needed a lot of dirt to cap some old closed disposal areas across its 600-acre property. The result: The quarry has been able to take what it has an over-abundance of and provide to the landfill what it needed, while saving County taxpayers more than $20 million in the process over a two year period.
“The opportunity this presented represents an excellent public-private partnership,” said Richland County Council Chairman Torrey Rush. “This is a shining example of how the County, working with the business community, can solve problems and benefit taxpayers.”
On Tuesday, Vulcan Materials – which recently supplied massive rocks for a temporary dam to help patch a failed section of the Columbia Canal after the October flood and is known by fitness buffs for its Quarry Run at its site in the Olympia community – attended the Richland County Council meeting to mark the end of the dirt-moving project, which began in September 2013 and culminated in April of this year.
During a presentation at the Council meeting, the company also presented a $5,000 donation to The Salvation Army of the Midlands to help with flood recovery efforts.
“We are proud to be part of Richland County,” said Elliott Botzis, Vice President of Vulcan Materials’ South Carolina Operations. “Two of our 11 quarry locations in South Carolina are located in Richland County. I am proud of the work in which our employees are involved in the communities where we are located, and I am particularly proud that Richland County has always been there to work with us.”
In addition to the financial savings to taxpayers, the partnership has had other side benefits for the only landfill site owned and operated by the County. Closed, dirt covered disposal areas on the property have sprouted grass and foliage, attracting turkey, deer, geese and other wildlife.
“Since we started the project in 2013, the property has really transformed,” said Rudy Curtis, interim director of the Richland County’s solid waste department. “I think a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised at how it looks out here.”
While the grassy mounds at the site are new, part of the 600-acre County property already included a conservation easement, placed on a 164-acre tract of mature bottomland hardwood forest. Under the control of the Congaree Land Trust, the easement provides valuable wildlife habitat and significance as a natural, ecological and scientific resource.
During the course of the project, which began Sept. 1, 2013 and ended in April:
• Vulcan provided the landfill with more than 2.1 million cubic yards of topsoil and overburden material, including rocks used for stormwater management
• Vulcan’s cost to move the material from the quarry to the landfill totaled $5.5 million
• It took 102,100 trips to move the material from Vulcan to the landfill
• The County saved more than $20 million – the “market value” of the work if the County had procured it from a private contractor who had to buy soil and haul it to the landfill
“This partnership has been a real success story,” Rush said.