Case Studies

Atlantic & National Concrete Washout Inc.

Keeping Construction Clean

Concrete is the world’s most used construction material, and as such it is big business. The amount of concrete produced globally is double the combined amount of plastic, steel, aluminum and wood. And, as contractors know, dealing with the goopy stuff on site can become a dirty job – one that requires a capable containment and clean-up service provider such as Atlantic & National Concrete Washout Inc.

Founded in 2005 by co-owners Brian Doonan and Ted Honcharik, the group bookends the U.S. It serves Southern California as National Concrete Washout and Florida as Atlantic Concrete Washout Inc. (ACW), which is run by Doonan, operating out of Orlando, Fla., and Richard Pardo, general manager of Miami.

Covering All the Small Details on Big Jobs

Concrete is produced by the combination of hydraulic cement – a mixture of limestone, clay and metal – and water. It’s versatile, durable and economic. Over 340 million cubic yards of the stuff is used in the U.S. alone. But its dark side is that it produces two waste byproducts: concrete washout (which is sediment) and wastewater, both of which can be harmful to the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informs that the washwater is slurry containing toxic metals with a pH near 12 – meaning it is caustic and corrosive. To put it in perspective, Drano liquid drain cleaner has a pH of 13.5.

It’s important washout stays out of groundwater and waterways by steering clear of drains near construction sites, and in order to achieve this, contractors can rely on Atlantic & National Concrete Washout. Pardo provides a closer look at the offerings of ACW, explaining, “We provide a turnkey service using portable watertight containers. We consider ourselves the best in the industry as far as the services we provide, and our commitment to customer satisfaction. We have the best quality products out there in the industry.”

ACW self-performs the entirety of the concrete washout process, as well as washout of paint, masonry and stucco tools and equipment. The company, which has around 40 employees, maintains 25 trucks that they drive to each construction site to deliver one of three types of watertight containers: ramped (5.5 cubic yards), rampless (6 cu. yd.) and mini (1.5 cu. yd.). All concrete waste is rinsed directly within the appropriately assigned portable container, and the washout is vacuumed (pumped out). This separation and recycling of solid and liquid materials is both highly efficient and cost effective.

“We recycle 100 percent [of concrete waste and contaminated water],” says Pardo. Thanks to the immaculately cleaned construction site and the reuse of the concrete byproducts (documented thoroughly by ACW), contractors can acquire LEED credits (MR 2.1, 2.2) and also rest assured knowing that the EPA has declared ACW’s procedures “Best Management Practices.”

ACW has been called to construction sites throughout Florida for highways, bridges, high-rise buildings and residential home building, among numerous other sites. One big project currently in progress for ACW is the massive $607 million Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) project, which involves the construction of a direct connection from the Port of Miami to highways via Watson Island to I-395. The POMT is the result of a private-public partnership that broke ground in May 2010, and construction aims to be completed in mid-2014. In general, Pardo sees business experiencing an uptick, especially in South Florida.

Solid Industry Connections

Comfortable in the niche concrete washout business, Pardo explains, “We’re sticking with what we know and do; we want to do one thing and do it better than anyone else. We want to provide the best service at a very competitive price. It’s been successful so far, so we’re going to continue grow on this path – it’s what we’re best at.” Strengthening the company’s position in its region, Pardo’s involvement in The Construction Underground (TCU), a fun and free networking organization (and subsidiary of Fort Lauderdale-based Speedy Concrete Cutting) that helps to connect Florida’s building community.

Pardo, a longtime friend of TCU founder Kristi Ronyak, is a board member “… since day one [in 2009],” he says. “It all started as a few of us were out socializing. The next thing we knew we had 20 people with us, and then it was 40, and now it has grown exponentially. It’s a very comfortable environment surrounded with good people.” Pardo is also on the board of Ronyak’s newest venture, Construction Angels, a non-profit organization devoted to helping families who’ve lost a loved one in a construction-related accident.

As a longtime industry professional, Pardo knows the benefit that similar pros can attain from getting together with others in the game and rubbing elbows. Plus, it’s fun. In November 2012 Pardo helped promote and coordinate the Construction Angel’s benefit event “Ride for the Road Poker Run.”

As for the future of ACW, Pardo says, “We foresee ourselves continuing to grow and be the leader in the recycling of concrete and paint washout.” As the industry focuses more on sustainable, “green” building techniques, ACW and its sister company in Southern California will likely capture more business. Using leaky roll-off bins and dumping contaminated water on the ground in pits won’t cut it anymore. Thankfully, people are becoming educated on and aware of the effects of contaminated groundwater and surface water, and a messy construction site with caustic byproducts of concrete, paint and stucco strewn about seems like plain negligence. Atlantic & National Concrete Washout Inc. protects the environment and keeps contractors looking sharp to their customers, subcontractors and the general public.

Published on: April 2, 2013

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