Damon Pursell, Powerscreen Midwest Bring Recycling to KC

Tue August 17, 2004 - Midwest Edition
Darryl Seland

Seven years ago, a 500-acre quarry just south of Kansas City, MO, sat dormant. Void of large equipment or bustling workers, it had been gutted by its owners through fifty years of underground mining.

Due to the instability of the ground, it also was unsuitable for developing and many had given up on finding anything useful to do with the property. Except Mike Pursell, president of Damon Pursell Construction Company (DPCC) in Liberty, MO.

Pursell saw potential and purchased the property from Norcal, a California company that attempted to start a landfill there eight years earlier.

Since then, the company has been working to reclaim the rest of the quarry’s rock and backfill and grade the land in preparation for development.

But the company’s latest undertaking is recycling, which began about a month ago with the purchase of a Powerscreen Warrior 1800 screener from Powerscreen Midwest Inc. The venture marked a first for DPCC, Powerscreen Midwest and Kansas City.

Until recently, Kansas City had allowed concrete and other debris from its construction and demolition jobs to be hauled and dumped as fill without any processing involved. Now it has decided to adopt a policy more in line with other cities around the country and require these materials to be recycled.

“That’s why we’ve worked closely with the city, so we can show them that the material can be recycled and reused,” said Pursell. “Hopefully, this will bring light to the engineers here in Kansas City that we are not throwing away a good product.”

DPCC’s first project for the city with the Powerscreen Warrior 1800 was to reclaim granite cobblestones from a street project in downtown Kansas City. Several city blocks over an old cable car track was excavated to accommodate conduit for fiber optic cables.

The excavated material was taken to DPCC’s quarry where is was run through the Warrior to remove the dirt and smaller rocks.

“By screening it first the task of manually picking out the cobbles, chipping off the mortar and stacking on pallets was made much easier for the laborers,” said Pursell. “These cobbles are a valuable product for building stone.”

Enter the Warrior

Due to the diversity of materials and situations DPCC encounters, it decided it needed to have a plant that could move easily both from site to site and on site from pile to pile.

The tracked Warrior can literally be walked around the job site. “We can move it around site without having to back it up to a truck,” said Pursell.

“[We] feel it’s going to give Mike a lot of versatility for all the different projects they encounter –– the black dirt, the recycling of cobblestones, rip rap, sizing stone, site clearing, etc.,” said John Donohue, president of Powerscreen Midwest Inc.

Currently, DPCC’s Warrior is set up with a grizzly deck on top and a ball deck on the bottom, which will allow it to handle some very heavy material up to the rip rap size material, said Donohue.

“This is our first Warrior in the Midwest,” added Donohue. “DPCC has been a very valued customer over the years and this new plant will help continue that relationship.”

DPCC bought its first Powerscreen plants in 1998 and have been doing business with Powerscreen Midwest Inc ever since. “They have always been able to provide us with the right equipment for the job and have been excellent with their service back-up and parts availability,” said Pursell.

In addition to the Warrior, DPCC uses a host of equipment at its operations, including a Gencor stationary heavy-duty rotary rip rap, a Simplicity 5x16 screen, a Gencor portable heavy-duty rotary screen, a Powerscreen 1600 portable screening plant, as well as a portable crushing and screening spread that includes an Inertia 5066 primary impactor, a Simplicity 7 by 20 3-deck inclined screen, a Simplicity 6 by 20 3-deck horizontal screen, a Pegson 249 secondary impactor, a Telesmith 3-in. cone crusher and Carter 100 ft. radial stockpiling conveyors.

DPCC’s operation provides rock for various commercial and state highway projects as well as for use in the reclamation of its quarry.

The work on the property included collapsing the mine and removal of the rock, which left a void the company has backfilled with solid fill, dirt, concrete and rock to create a solid building foundation.

This foundation is being compacted and graded in preparation for the development of a 400-plus acre Industrial Park.

DPCC was founded by Mike’s father just after WWII and is involved in earthmoving, construction, developments and, now, recycling in the Kansas City area.

“[We] do a lot of site work, work for landfill owners and contractors and develop about one hundred lots a year ourselves,” said Pursell.

The quarry is located in Kansas City near Interstate 435 and U.S. Highway 71 and employs 150 workers.