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BUFFALO FIRM TO DISPOSE OF THREE RIVERS STADIUM
WHEN ALL THE HOOPLA IS OVER NEXT WEEK, BUFFALO-BASED EARTHWATCH WASTE SYSTEMS WILL START HAULING AWAY THE REMNANTS OF THREE RIVERS STADIUM

After Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh is turned into a pile of rubble Sunday, a Buffalo-based company will haul away the debris.

The former home of the Pirates and Steelers will be imploded at 8 a.m. Sunday in what should be a popular local spectacle. When all the hoopla is over next week, Earthwatch Waste Systems will start taking away the remnants.

The company has handled debris removal for other big projects, such as the demolition of a former Bethlehem Steel building in Lackawanna a few years ago.

"This one is unique in the fact that it's such a high-profile job," said Thomas Wagner, president of the 11-year-old company.

What Three Rivers Stadium lacked in architectural charm it made up for in championship Pirate and Steeler teams, featuring stars like Roberto Clemente, Terry Bradshaw and Willie Stargell. Both teams are moving into new stadiums this year.

That leaves the old one to be disposed of. Two companies, CDI of Maryland and Bianchi Trison Corp. of Syracuse, are serving as the project managers on the demolition work.

About 80 percent of the debris -- amounting to 40,000 to 50,000 tons -- will be recycled, Wagner said. The concrete can be used in rebuilding roads, for instance.

About 8,000 to 15,000 tons of waste that can't be recycled will be hauled to a landfill in eastern Ohio, he said.

Wagner estimates Earthwatch will finish its portion of the project in less than three months. He said all the attention focused on the project has generated new business for Earthwatch.

Just four years ago, an Orchard Park-based company, Dismantlement and Environmental Management, known as Demco, demolished Cleveland Stadium. That project cleared the way for the Cleveland Browns' new home.

Demco's project involved conventional demolition equipment, instead of a dramatic implosion like the one planned in Pittsburgh. Demco used part of the debris to build artificial reefs in Lake Erie.

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