Approximately 98 percent of all O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) construction and demolition debris has been recycled and prevented from entering area landfills. Over 600,000 tons of construction waste materials from OMP-related projects have been recycled.
Scrap metal from construction, repair and demolition activities is gathered on-site at the airport in staged, dedicated recycling dumpsters. It is then hauled as needed for market rate credit. More than 4,800 tons of metal debris has been collected, ground and delivered for recycling.
During demolition activities, hundreds of light bulbs were carefully extracted and recycled.
Nearly 100 trees have been rescued from demolition sites and replanted at various CDA facilities. Nine varieties of trees were replanted including blue spruce, hemlock, Norway spruce and white pine. Shrubs, planter boxes and landscape boulders were also salvaged and reused.
Low-Emission Construction Equipment & Fuels
The CDA requires contractors to use the newest, most efficient construction equipment available. Older construction equipment must be retrofitted with oxidation catalysts or particulate filters to reduce emissions. Consistently, more than 80 percent of all applicable construction equipment on-site is Tier 2 or newer (reported on a month-by-month basis). When OMP construction started in October 2005, all construction vehicles were required to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel, five years prior to the federal mandate.
Construction Specification Development and Implementation
The CDA has established specifications to minimize air quality impacts during construction. Each contractor is required to:
- List all vehicles used on the project prior to the start of construction
- Certify that all vehicles are in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier Standards
- Track fuel usage for each vehicle in a monthly and annual report
- Identify when new equipment is brought on the project site or when old equipment is replaced
- Label compliant construction equipment to recognize program equipment and ULSD fuel compliance.