About five years ago, Longview native Scott Schill noticed there was a need for disposing of certain types of old concrete. From that idea, Schill has built a thriving business.
Accurate Asphalt Solutions is one of the few businesses in the area that recycles old concrete. What makes the business unusual is that it accepts concrete that contains metal.
“My brother and I were partners for like 15, 20 years. We were charging people to dump ... because the state requires you to have a permitted dump site. And I saw a market for it,” Schill said.
When concrete is removed from a site, it often contains wire, rebar and other items. Many recyclers can’t accept concrete with metal, because the metal can damage expensive equipment.
Scott Schill, 48, graduated from Kelso High School and then started working with his dad in the paving business. Although he still does some paving work, Accurate Asphalt is his main focus.
It’s Schill’s wife, Janel, who owns the business while Scott runs the day-to-day operations and manages the crew. Janel Schill also does the bookkeeping and office management.
Rather than having old concrete end up being buried or put in a landfill, Accurate Asphalt uses a horizontal impact crusher to break up the larger pieces, separate out the wire and also separate out the dirt.
“It’s like a big drum spinning in a circle with these big bars on it. So it tumbles it and the metal just comes out,” Schill explained.
Crews use an old wrecking ball to break up the larger concrete slabs. From there, an excavator is used to drop piles of dirt, concrete and metal into the sorter. The impact crusher then breaks up the concrete into smaller and smaller pieces, which releases the dirt and metal.
After the dirt is filtered out, the concrete pieces then move along a conveyor toward a magnet, which removes the metal pieces. Along with recycling the concrete, Schill also sells the metal and soil recovered in the crushing process.
Schill said he likes the idea of reusing all of the materials, rather than having to mine new resources from the earth.
“It’s a good alternative. We’re taking less material out of the earth, and we’re reusing it,” Schill said.
One project that is keeping the business especially busy lately is the Bell Lumber plant at Mint Farm, which makes telephone and utility line poles.
“They want as much as I can give them because rock — or virgin aggregate — doesn’t set up like this sets up and it gives it a more stable base,” Schill said.
Along with the expected rebar and wire, Schill has also seen some strange things come out of the crushed concrete. He once found an older derringer-type pistol and the wheel off a child’s toy. Perhaps the strangest thing he found was a hand grenade, which thankfully wasn’t live.
“It’s crazy,” Schill said with a laugh.