Cotati, CA, July 11, 2018—The tragic firestorms on the night of October 9th will forever be a part of our Sonoma County culture. Whether you lost your home, were forced to evacuate, or watched your friends & family suffer from afar, we were all affected by the devastating event in some way or another. As we all mourned for ourselves and our neighbors, glimmers of light and hope arose from the ashes as the community rallied around each other in support.
Once the smoke cleared and the cleanup work began, it became obvious the scale of work that needed to be done was beyond what anyone could imagine. The sheer amount of debris that had to be removed before rebuilding could even begin was overwhelming. Clean up crews worked tirelessly for months on end to complete the massive job of clearing each and every burned down lot. When it came to where these materials would go, many companies stepped up, all with the end goal of recycling anything and everything that they could.
Stony Point Rock Quarry in Cotati and Soils Plus in Sonoma, members of the Soiland Company family, were a few of the sites willing and able to take in the massive amount of concrete and upcycle it into a usable product. Since the October wildfires, they have taken in over 340,000 tons of concrete at their sites. Employees at both locations worked long hours, opening on weekends and staying late into the night in order to be open for the trucks to come in. It was important to Soiland Company to be as flexible as possible so as not to hold up the cleanup process. To help even further, a second scale was brought into Stony Point Rock Quarry to accommodate the huge number of trucks hauling the concrete to the quarry.
From this tragedy, a new life has been breathed into the rubble that once was the foundation for the tight communities of homes in Coffey Park, Founatingrove, Larkfield, Mark West, Kenwood & beyond. Taking the concrete chunks and turning them into Class II Recycled Base is a long process, which is made even more difficult by the massive size of some of the pieces as well as the rebar reinforcements. Once the concrete has been ground to the perfect size, the end product needs to be sent out for testing to make sure it fits within the CalTrans specification.
This recycled base from the North Bay fires is now being used all throughout Sonoma County on projects like the new communities being built in the area, local high schools, and the Highway 101 HOV lane being built from Petaluma to Novato. Traffic on Highway 101 has been an issue for so long there are few local residents who remember it any differently. It seems as though the widening project has been going on for ages and we all wait in anticipation for it to be finished. With the recycled firestorm concrete being used, local residents can see firsthand how we have been able to turn parts of this heartbreaking event into something useful and positive.
As time goes on, more and more of the recycled concrete from the firestorm will be used in the building & rebuilding process throughout Sonoma County. Witnessing the ever-changing landscape of the path of the firestorm is humbling, and gives hope to building a stronger community from the devastating ashes.
Founded by Marv Soiland in 1962, Soiland Company is a second-generation family business based in Sonoma County. We manufacture and sell aggregate rock, soil, compost, and mulch products from our three locations: Stony Point Rock Quarry, Grab N’ Grow, and Soils Plus.
Soiland Co., Inc.