Birmingham, Alabama - The tornados that swept through the South on April 27th of this year uprooted families, homes, and livelihoods. In its wake it left thousands of trees and homes strewn across the community. In Birmingham, the devastation impacted several communities, and flattened Pratt City. Mayor William Bell of Birmingham, along with the City Council and other community leaders have moved quickly to clean up the debris and begin helping communities rebuild their homes and lives.
Estimates of the amount of debris range as high as 70,000 tons. Rather than burying this material, the City of Birmingham has taken a bold step to recover this material and reuse or recycle as much as possible. Southeast Renewables (SER), a proven operator of Material Recovery Facilities, was chosen to help divert up to 80% of Birmingham's tornado debris away from landfills. SER will recover, recycle and find ways to reuse the material. This industry leading move will save Birmingham money, extend the life of the existing landfills and establish a new and innovative method to revitalize communities affected by disasters.
SER has developed a partnership with the Alabama Environmental Council (AEC) to provide third party monitoring of recycling operations at the Birmingham facility operated by SER in addition to recycling education and outreach programming. Michael Churchman, Executive Director of the Alabama Environment Council stated "The Alabama Environmental Council has been working on waste reduction issues for more than 25 years and are proud to be a part of this project. Birmingham is setting an example of a shift in mind-set that will result in a cleaner community. This project also shows how closely tied the environment and economy are with creation of new local jobs and capturing these materials to inject back into the market." SER's state of the art Material Recovery Facility will not only help the environment, it will also provide approximately 40 local jobs in the Birmingham market.
"We look forward to employing people from local communities destroyed by the tornado and lending a hand in a time of need" said Ted O'Shea, Chief Operating Officer, Southeast Renewables. SER is working to attain approvals at the State and Federal level required to establish a recovery fund, which will be administered and distributed by the City of Birmingham, to support recovery efforts. SER will donate fifty cents for every cubic yard of material received at its Birmingham facility.