Everything changes. The Binkery's been relocated and the building next door, Dick's Pizza, was razed to make way for a new Walgreens.
I had a great conversation with the construction manager about new protocols for managing the debris economically and environmentally. They did a nice job on minding the environmental p's and q's, but West Bend, like cities everywhere needs to start thinking more seriously about adopting LEED standards for new construction.
Recycling Dick’s Pizza a brick at a time
West Bend can follow environmental LEED
Last week I watched a giant back-hoe claw Dick's Pizza into rubble. Rest in pieces, Dick’s Pizza. The first pizza I ate in West Bend was one of their specials with everything. I had just moved into one of the bunker-style apartments on Morgan and, on that day, all my worldly possessions consisted of eight boxes of books, a brick and board bookshelf, a futon and a wok. And a Dick’s pizza. That pizza, I’ll confess, made me hopeful.
With the entire northeastern corner of Washington and 18th now bulldozed flat, I wondered where the pieces had gone. I watched The Binkery roll down Highway 33 to its new home, but where did Dick’s end up?
The project manager at the Redmond Company (the group now installing our third Walgreens) and the city engineering and planning departments helped me track down the pizza crumbs of aggregate, steel and asphalt.
They’ve taken good care of the site. For starters, nothing was wasted: more than 50 percent of Dick’s Pizza was recycled.
About 15 tons of steel was sold to salvage, around 2,100 tons of the old parking lot was pulverized and reused onsite as fill, and about 1,300 tons of concrete block is being stored near Fond du Lac and will eventually find its way into new construction projects. The aluminum cooking hoods were recycled and the old Dick’s Pizza sign was sold to the folks at Clothes Clinic who plan to retrofit it into a new sign for their business. Wave as you go by.
The interior furnishings were auctioned off last year. I was told the Hartford Jaycees came through and grabbed four 16-foot fake beams from the ceiling over the bar to be used in their annual Haunted House. That’s a nice retirement for those beams – helping to scare the dickens out of little kids. It’s poetic.
Recycling demolition debris is still largely cost driven so, if recycling facilities were close enough to offset the costs of hauling, the contractor used recycling. That’s economically important because landfills aren’t as cheap as they used to be.
On Oct. 1, Wisconsin added a surcharge on landfilling debris which the Associated Recyclers Of Wisconsin puts at a 67 percent cost increase. It looks like a lot, but the dollar cost is still significantly lower than neighboring states – one reason why Wisconsin has become a popular place for both Minnesota and Illinois to dump their garbage. In the big picture, the surcharge encourages recycling and will help to limit the garbage from Illinois entering Wisconsin – and I don’t just mean when the Bears play at Lambeau.
They also took good care of Silver Creek, which runs right behind the site.
Some of you may remember when runoff from construction of the Walmart Superstore damaged the headwaters of Quaas Creek. Nobody wants that to happen again, so the environmental assessment, completed prior to demolition and construction, was a strict one. The construction site required a DNR Chapter 30 individual permit (the most restrictive kind) because Silver Creek is, technically, a navigable waterway. Yes: a navigable waterway.
Here’s the DNR’s definition: “Public lakes, rivers, and streams have a bottom (bed) and side (bank), and enough water to float any boat, skiff, or canoe of the shallowest draft on a reoccurring basis.” I suppose a plastic duck, painted to look like Louis Armstrong, floating down Silver Creek through Regner Park during the annual Fourth of July Duck Derby races, constitutes a shallow draft vessel.
More seriously, the creek is listed under the DNR’s Areas of Special Natural Resource Interest (ASNRI) designation because it’s vital to the health of those ponds in Regner Park and, remember: no Silver Creek, no Duck Derby.
Recycling Dick’s Pizza embodied good economic sense, with environmental and social responsibility for toppings – that didn’t cost extra. Most companies now recognize that the triple bottom line (which expands the measure of success from economic, to include environmental and social implications) saves money in the long run. It’s a great start on economic, environmental and socially responsible construction methods.
As a community, we can do more. We can adopt the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED standards provide architects and developers with guidelines for making their buildings economically, and environmentally, friendlier.
The usual cities have already adopted LEED standards, places like Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, but even here in West Bend we have some famous examples: the new Gehl building and West Bend Mutual’s recent addition both implemented LEED standards. West Bend Mutual has even been recognized as an early adopter of green building methods, which are as good for the bottom line as they are for the environment. Maybe it’s time for the city of West Bend to be recognized for taking the LEED in construction and innovative development.