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Anamosa Truickling Filter Plant DecommissionGrinding Plastic Filter Media
by Alicia Presto, Area 4

In 2010, the City of Anamosa decommissioned its wastewater treatment facility because it no longer met requirements. The City’s facility, which was a trickling filter plant, used almost 80 tons of plastic filter media in a dome structure. After the trickling filter plant was decommissioned, the City was responsible for the dome structure, equipment, and plastic filter media. Instead of planning to demolish and landfill the decommissioned plant, the City decided to modify the dome structure for storage, reuse or recycle the equipment, and recycle the plastic filter media. To complete the project, the City hired contractors to properly modify the building and surrounding property.

The City also consulted Iowa Waste Exchange resource specialist Alicia Presto, and local recycling companies to identify recycling options for the equipment and plastic filter media.

The dome structure and surrounding property was modified in June 2014 to construct an entryway large enough for City vehicles to enter. Also, spiral 

Plastic Filter Media

staircases that were salvaged from an old City building were installed at two additional access points.The City used Rural Recycling Grinding, LLC to grind and remove the nearly 80 tons of plastic media, which went to a manufacturer that will use the material to produce recycled content field tile. In addition, the metal equipment in the plant, including the large, rotating sprayer, was salvaged by BG Salvage. In total, 20 tons of metal was recycled.

Plastic Filter Media after Grinding The City now uses the modified structure to store sludge from its wastewater treatment facility. For this project, the overall cost savings realized by the City of Anamosa is an estimated $837,472.By modifying rather than demolishing the dome structure, the City avoided disposal costs and gained 280,000 cubic feet of storage space.By recycling the plastic filter media and metal equipment, the City avoided $170,000 in disposal costs, and received $5,000 for the metal equipment.

Photo Credits: Dan Smith, June 2014

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