This spring Albright recycled 95 percent of the 30,000-squarefoot,
recently demolished former Reading Army Reserve Center
at the corner of 12th and Bern Streets.
Extreme Recycling—Albright Recycles an Entire Building
This spring Albright recycled 95 percent of the 30,000-square-foot, recently
demolished former Reading Army Reserve Center at 12th and Bern Streets.
Following environmental remediation, 400,000 tons of bricks, mortar and
concrete were pulverized and are being used as fill and aggregate for a new
parking lot on the site. Much of the wood was recycled into mulch, and 250
tons of steel were turned over to a New Jersey recycling company to be melted
down for reuse.
Kevin Gaffney, director of facilities, said the recycling project saved the
College an estimated $20,000-$25,000. “We knew we needed to backfill, and it
just didn’t make sense to buy crushed aggregate when we could have a company
come in and pulverize the bricks and concrete to use.”
The parking lot is currently under construction and is expected to be completed
by June. The 100-space lot will be lit and gated, and will include six full-sized
basketball courts, available for community use.
Just five percent of the materials—wood covered with lead paint
and asbestos—were unable to be recycled. Both were sent to a licensed
After more than a decade of trying to secure title to the abandoned
property from various government agencies, Albright was granted the
deed in the summer of 2008. Built in 1923, the property was originally a
hosiery mill. It was later used as a warehouse for the wartime production
of parachutes, as a battery factory, and then by the United States Army as a
training center until 1987. The property has been vacant since 1987.
Although Albright has never recycled a building to this degree, Gaffney
said the College did recycle building materials on a small scale when Gene
Shirk Stadium was reconstructed in 2005.