New Paving Material Puts PCBs, River Sediment to Use on Road

Posted Sep. 12, 2003

Contaminated materials can be melted into glass

By Ed Culhane
Post-Crescent staff writer

NEENAH — Minergy officials demonstrated Thursday that PCB-contaminated river sediments can be melted into a glass aggregate, mixed with asphalt and used to pave roads.

The glass aggregate used in the demonstration at Johnson Trucking was produced with paper mill sludge, but the newly approved process will work well with river sediments, said Terry Carroll, general manager of the Minergy Corp.

“This is the first commercial application of glass aggregate in asphalt,” he said.

Carroll said he was excited by the new process because it means that now there is a virtually inexhaustible market for PCB-contaminated sediments that have been recycled into glass aggregate. The process destroys PCBs without creating new contaminants.

“This demonstration here today shows that yes we will have markets and we won’t have to travel far,” Carroll said. “We would be able to use this asphalt right here in northeast Wisconsin.”

Frank Busalacchi, state Department of Transportation secretary, said the state was interested in this new application of glass furnace technology.

Glass furnace technology has been included as an option in the Record of Decision, the federally mandated cleanup plan for the Fox River produced by the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were produced in the manufacture of carbonless paper. Their use was banned in 1976.

Ed Culhane can be reached at 920-993-1000, ext. 216, or by e-mail at