Brothers Jarrod and Justin are the third generation of Millers at the helm of Miller Trucking and Excavating (MTE), a Quad Cities-area construction, excavation and demolition company. Back in 1947, the brothers’ grandfather and great-uncle started a basement digging company, and their business quickly grew to include a fleet of trucks and a large collection of heavy equipment. Operations continued to expand through the second generation of Millers, and by the time Jarrod and Justin came onboard in the 1980s, the family business had evolved into a large, successful and respected company focusing on commercial, municipal and industrial earth-moving and clearing projects.
In the early 2000s there was no particular need to change the company’s business model, but about this time Jarrod and Justin saw an opportunity to advance sustainability goals in their business practices. Recognizing the amount of concrete their company discarded in the landfill, the Millers felt they could help the environment by repurposing that material into useful product. In 2001, Miller Materials, the recycling division of MTE, was created.
Since then, concrete recycling has become an increasingly popular way to reuse aggregate left behind when structures or roadways are demolished. But in Miller Materials’ early years, specs for recycled aggregate didn’t exist and confidence in the product wasn’t established. The Millers met this challenge by following research, testing and field applications, and became pioneers in creating an end product that’s now, in many cases, preferred over virgin aggregate.
Miller Materials currently recycles concrete and asphalt at facilities in Davenport and across the river in Carbon Cliff, IL. The bulk of the raw material comes from MTE jobs, but homeowners and businesses can deliver material to either facility and drop it off at no charge. After arrival at the reclaim yard, the concrete and asphalt is sorted, then processed through state-of-the-art crushing and screening equipment. High-powered magnets keep rebar – which is also recycled – out of the finished product. The new aggregate meets state and local size specifications for roadways, parking lots and other base-fill applications. While much of the material is used for MTE’s own projects, other area construction companies and Illinois and Iowa transportation departments also use the recycled aggregate.
Produce specification-sized recycled aggregates on site
Avoid haul-off costs and landfill disposal fees
Eliminate expense of aggregate imports and exports
Increase project efficiency and improve job cost: Recycled concrete aggregates yield up to 15% more volume by weight
Minimize impact to community infrastructure by reducing import and export trucking
Eliminate need to wash (with quality control)
Clientele at Miller Materials also includes Quad Cities-area homeowners. Recycled rock can be purchased to use as a base for driveways and sidewalks or for fill. Decorative rock, shredded topsoil and mulch are also sold in bulk or available for delivery.
In addition to its Iowa Recycling Association membership, Miller Materials is a member of the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA). Through these memberships, the company continues to look for more ways to reuse excess jobsite materials and reduce landfill waste.
MTE and Miller Materials’ commitment to environmental responsibility is matched by its commitment to the community. Generous donations of time, talent and treasure are given to schools, healthcare providers, non-profits and public service agencies. The Millers explain: “We live and play where we work and are committed to improving the quality of life in our community. It’s our responsibility to serve and support those organizations and we are humbled by the impact they make every day.”
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