Reusing waste to help protect the environment
Posted On January 30, 2024
Many companies are actively seeking out ways to make their processes healthier for the environment. When your business involves hazardous waste, that can sometimes be difficult and always heavily regulated.
But our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” runs a business that has a solution. Ted Reese is President and CEO of Cadence Environmental Energy, a company that supplies alternative fuels to the cement kiln industry.
And yes, even hazardous waste can be reused as an alternative fuel.
“My father was one of the early pioneers back in the early ‘70s who found that waste with energies could be used in lieu of the fossil fuels,” said Reese, who took control of the company in 2019 from his father, who founded it in 1975.
Based in Indiana, Cadence takes waste solvents and other kinds of waste and repurposes them for the production of cement. The waste is broken down to its individual components when fired in a kiln at over 3,000 degrees, making it safe to reuse as part of the new cement product.
“So the waste is truly destroyed,” Reese said. “With the EPA, we talk in terms of 99.49 up to (99).69 percent destruction.”
Reusing this waste creates a two-fold benefit to the environment. It takes the place of fossil fuels in the cement-making process, and it also keeps the waste out of landfills or other disposal sites.
“Our goal is to keep things out of the ground, because we are long-term believers in, no matter how great of a landfill you build, no matter how great a barrier you say you have, nothing is ever 100 percent,” Reese said. “Sooner or later, the waste is going to end up in the groundwater. Especially when there are thermal processes out there that can keep this material out of the ground, why wouldn’t you do it?”