Most read demolition and recycling stories of 2023

20 December 2023

With the end of 2023 now in sight, we’ve gathered together the most well-read stories from the demolition and recycling sector.

While some further highlight the negative aspects that continue to plague our industry, most serve to demonstrate the high level of expertise, skill and innovation that our sector brings to the wider construction industry.

As we move into 2024, it’s worth taking note of these most-read stories, as they can provide insight into the areas where we as a professional community can improve and hints about what we may need to prepare for in the future.

World Demolition Award winners The 2023 World Demolition Award winners. (PHOTO: D&Ri)
10. 2023 World Demolition Awards: And the winners are... 

October 2019 - D&Ri announced the winners of the 2023 World Demolition Awards. The winning companies were revealed at a special awards dinner and ceremony, hosted by television star Rory O’Shea, in Toronto, Canada, last night (Wednesday 18 October).

And the winners of the 2023 World Demolition Awards are: click here to find out.

9. Fluor JV wins US$5.87 billion deal to decommission Ohio uranium enrichment plant 

July 2023 - US contractor Fluor won a deal to decontaminate and decommission a former uranium enrichment plant in Ohio, in joint venture with Cavendish Nuclear USA.

The deal, worth $5.87 billion over 10 years, sees the joint venture execute the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant decontamination and decommissioning contract in Piketon, Ohio.

8. Demolition contractors fined almost £60 million for bid rigging

March 2023 - Following an investigation by the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), 10 companies were fined a total of nearly £60 million (US$73.92 million) for illegally colluding to rig bids for demolition and asbestos removal contracts.

The CMA also secured the disqualification of three directors of firms involved in the unlawful conduct. The bid rigging conduct relates to 19 contracts worth more than £150 million ($184.8 million), across both the public and private sectors.

7. Armoured excavator deployed for remediation works at World War II army munitions site
A team of remediation and exquipment experts with the machine at the Dethlinger Pond site The armoured unit will excavate six tonnes of munitions, with the number of individual rounds potentially reaching intp the tens of thousands. (PHOTO: Atlas)

November 2023 - A special armoured excavator was deployed to carry out the remediation of what is believed to be the largest disposal site of chemical warfare agents in Europe.

The adapted 225 LC tracked excavator was built by German construction equipment manufacturer Atlas, to carry out the removal of around six tonnes of old army minutions from what is known as the Dethlinger Pond near Munster in Germany.

6. 4,000-tonne bridge removed in 42 hours for HS2

August 2023 - Armac Demolition demolished a 4,000-tonne motorway bridge in just 42 hours - 14 hours ahead of schedule, as part of the United Kingdom’s HS2 (High Speed) rail project.

The two-span bridge over the M42 motorway, which measured 40 m long and 10 m wide, was removed to make way for the construction of a new twin box structure that will carry the HS2 railway line in the West Midlands.

Armac had only a 56-hour road closure window in which to take down the structure, but completed the demolition early by working all through the day and night, with multiple demolition machines.

5. Contractor completes school demo ahead of schedule

September 2023 - Civil engineering contractor Karl Mossandl completed the demolition of a school dormitory building in the Bavaria, Germany, more than a week ahead of schedule.

Karl Mossandl, which also provides construction materials and services, took down the three-storey dormitory at the Herzog-Tassilo-Realschule in Dingolfing using a rented Sennebogen 830 E demolition excavator.

The contractor had originally scheduled for the works involving the machine to take two weeks but, thanks to its choice of equipment, finished over a week earlier than it expected to.

4. Waste recycling company fined US$315,000 after worker crushed

Ocgtober 2023 - A waste and recycling company in the United Kingdom has been fined £260,000 (US$315,000) after a worker suffered “severe crush injuries”, as a result of becoming trapped in a waste sorting machine.

London-based Cappagh Public Works, which provides construction and demolition waste services, supplies recycled aggregates and also operates as a demolition contractor, was issued the fine at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on 20 October 2023.

3. US Congress urged to bring back workforce act

July 2023 - The US National Demolition Association (NDA) urged the United States Congress to reinstate the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), in order to help demolition and construction sector employers recruit and retain skilled workers.

The NDA said: “The federal government provides workforce development activities through WIOA’s programs and other initiatives designed to increase the employment and earning potential of workers.

“However, the original authorization of WIOA expired in FY 2020 and has only been renewed on an annual basis through appropriations bills. Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have expressed interest in reauthorizing WIOA but no action has been taken thus far.”

US Congress urged to bring back workforce act NDA calls for long-term Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to tackle labour crisis 
2. ‘World’s largest’ demo crane deployed at power plant

August 2023 - Demolition contractor Ferraro Group began demolishing a decommissioned coal-fired power plant in Italy, with the help of a Sennebogen demolition crane and wrecking ball.

Located south of Venice in the town of Porto Tolle, the Enel thermoelectric power plant lies within in the UNESCO Po Delta Biosphere Reserve. The former industrial site is currently being redeveloped as part of a project to transform the area into an ecologically sustainable tourist resort, that will be more in keeping with its UNESCO World Heritage Site surroundings.

Ferraro, which began works on the site in August of 2022, recently brought in its Sennebogen 6300 HD crawler crane to carry out the selective demolition of a number of remaining concrete and steel structures - some of which measure up to 65 m in height.

‘World’s largest’ demo crane deployed at power plant Ferraro Group brings in crawler crane with wrecking ball attachment 
1. Contractor embroiled in bid rigging scandal gets a new name

July 2023 - British contractor Morrisroe Group announced a rebranding of its subsidiary company Cantillon Demolition, which will now be known as Morrisroe Demolition.

Morrisroe acquired Cantillon back in October of 2020 in a move that broadened the company’s portfolio and enabled the group to provide a “full demolition and basement box service”.

While Cantillon was among several contractors recently fined by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority for bid rigging, the rebranding is said to be part of a previously planned integration strategy that further brings two of the group’s brands under the same umbrella.

Contractor embroiled in bid rigging scandal gets a new name Rebrand is part of planned integration strategy, say parent company

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Leila Steed Editor, Demolition & Recycling International Tel: +44(0) 1892 786 261 E-mail: [email protected]
Peter Collinson International Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786220 E-mail: [email protected]