By Bryant Esch
Waupaca Foundry continually uses, reconditions and reuses the sand that helps to make our high quality gray and ductile iron castings. Sand that can no longer be used for creating quality iron castings does not have to end up in a landfill. In fact, 70 percent (more than 400,000 tons) of foundry sand material is repurposed for construction, agricultural, and geotechnical fill projects each year. Now, this same material will help adventurous kids (and perhaps older thrill-seekers) in the community enjoy the results of such a project—in the form of a 42-foot-high sledding hill!
Thanks to the involvement of Waupaca Foundry, several construction partners, and the City of Waupaca, area residents will have access to an expanded Swan Park Recreation Facility. This project will give families the opportunity to enjoy a new 42-foot-high sledding hill and ice-skating rink in the winter, and expanded hiking trails, basketball courts, and amphitheatre in the summer. All of these expansions will be the result of a large beneficial reuse project using Waupaca Foundry materials.
The project kicked off in February 2012, when Waupaca Foundry’s three Waupaca-based plants began providing approximately 200,000 cubic yards of foundry by-products to facilitate the facility’s construction. Foundry sand and slag will be used as an unconfined geotechnical fill, in lieu of natively mined construction materials. Not only does the fill provide a competitive option for the city, it also provides a reduction in landfill dependence and eliminates the need for any offsite native material mining to complete the project.
Waupaca community members can expect the basketball courts to be completed first, with the entire project slated to wrap up in May 2014. Parking areas and recreational lighting are also part of the Swan Park plan.
Waupaca Foundry has been part of this community for generations, so this type of project is a natural extension of our commitment to be a good neighbor. We are proud to show Waupaca, WI, what their hometown foundries can do with innovative, sustainable thinking and a couple hundred thousand yards of reusable materials.