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75th Quarry and Recycling is the second location to Sand Materials & Aggregate Sales Inc, a building materials supplier company. The Quarry and Recycling Center aims to responsibly source and recycle sand materials such as broken concrete and dirt. Through their efforts to mitigate sourcing and waste, the byproduct is also improved air quality in the local community and the protection of biodiversity. Their practices aim to advance the UN’s SDGs, particularly SDG #12 Sustainable Consumption and Production and SDG #15 Reversing Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss.
There is a general misconception that heavy industries such as mining destroy the ecosystem, but such industries must comply with imposed environmental regulations subject to consistent inspections. 75th Quarry and Recycling follows all environmental laws and makes goes above the requirements. Mining and recycling operations are known to release dust particles and emissions into the air. Our group met with Janis Pusic, Founder and President of SM Sales and 75th Quarry, who told us the quarry has made it of the utmost importance to mitigate this and has invested in an innovative, state-of-the-art water distribution network. Water suppression sprayers are made available throughout the entire site as the primary dust suppressant during operations. This form of dust and materials has adverse effects on the air quality locally worsened by wind and rain weather, but the water for dust suppression is ready to access throughout the 30-acre facility. The Pusic family’s innovative work goes beyond the compliance standards of the AQMD (Air Quality Management District), the government air pollution agency.
Further, the quarry has made substantial investments to ensure the preservation of endangered species and the protection of wildlife governed by the Fish and Wildlife agency. During the permitting process, the land was acquired offsite to permanently dedicate to wildlife habitat. Biologists were also hired to identify any endangered plant species on the property. The action was taken to preserve and protect the species like Joshua Trees found on site and in some cases, they were relocated. The Department of Conservation also oversees all the mining operations, and as part of the Quarry’s compliance, a reclamation plan was prepared. With the plan, all native vegetation will be properly reintroduced and restored once all resources are depleted.
What may go unsaid is that the important aspect of the company’s environmental recognition is the decision to incorporate recycling as part of its operations. Though limited to construction materials, the company ensures that 100% of the materials such as broken concrete/asphalt and dirt are recycled and reused again in construction. This process also ensures that after screening for debris, only waste that cannot be recycled goes to landfills, making it a huge environmental impact.
In a different branch of the business, truck brokerage, SM Sales only subcontracts truck drivers that are in full compliance with all environmental laws which is not a standard in the industry, but the company works with businesses that truly care about the environment. Another way the company partakes in protecting the environment is by providing its trucks as transportation to remove debris from areas affected by wildfires.
In the interview, Pusic says that “Besides having to comply with all imposed regulations, our business practices are primarily based on our moral values to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.”
Their inspiration behind the creation of new technology exists in the belief that heavy industries, like mining, destroy our ecosystem. Environmental activists and politicians alike implicitly agree that these heavy industries cause environmental crises like deforestation, air pollution, and to the loss of biodiversity. And yes, it is true that these industries teeter on the line of being contributors to these crises. However, there are countless regulations and efforts of responsible mine operators that mitigate this potential harm. And for 75th Quarry, its effort goes far beyond merely “mitigating harm.”
“We strive to be the best in the business,” says Pusic. “We take pride in the work that we perform and in the way we maintain our facility. Our facility is not as large as our competitors; however, although we are a relatively small facility, we are known by the agencies that regulate us and are recognized as one of the cleanest operations in the area.”
As a small business enterprise, the 75th Street Quarry thrives on sustainable business practices, both internally and environmentally. Operating as a woman-owned business in a male-dominated industry, the quarry incorporates a variety of fresh perspectives and welcomes diversity. They are a family-owned business that values experience, accountability, and reliability. Safety is of the utmost priority for each employee, so the quarry goes above and beyond to abide by state and local regulations. They uphold their standards through frequent inspections and consultations from experts. They work to ensure that each third-party contractor also complies with environmental and safety regulations so that their values are consistent throughout the company. The quarry differentiates itself from typical mining operations by prioritizing environmental sustainability. They have enlisted experts and biologists to construct plans that protect the environment and endangered species surrounding the sites.
Since 1982, SM Sales has grown to become one of the leading construction truck brokers and suppliers of aggregate materials in all of Southern California. The opening of 75th Quarry and Recycling, their responsible building material and recycling center, has allowed SM Sales to be in control of both material production and competitive pricing. Their decades of experience in the aggregate and transportation industry enables SM Sales to provide complex material specifications as well as handle complicated delivery situations. Through that experience, SM Sales has created positive business partnerships with some of the largest contractors in the nation. Their wide range of customers includes local homeowners, landscapers, ready-mix plants, equestrian facilities, and local/state government agencies. Some of their most notable partners include National Ready Mix Concrete Co., EZ-Mix Inc., CEMEX USA, and L.A. Equestrian Center. As a material broker, the company’s vast network of material producers allows customers to get the best price possible, for any desired material.
75th Quarry and Recycling’s priority on establishing safe environmental practices, has not only allowed for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife, but it has also garnered great recognition. Their certifications from top agencies like Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California Public Utilities Commission, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority—and many more—has allowed SM Sales to gain publicity among customers and competitors alike.
Furthermore, the recycling center itself, has generated great benefit for both the business and its customers. 75th Quarry and Recycling’s center accepts a wide range of materials, allowing for safe and sustainable waste practices. Materials such as clean concrete, clean asphalt, clean dirt, broken AC and PPC, AC Grindings, and PPC w/ rebar. Thus, the opening of their quarry has promoted business for itself while simultaneously providing benefits to its consumers and the environment.
In 2021, 75th Street Quarry was awarded with the Achievement in Reducing Emissions, or AIRE, award. The company received this award for its “innovative work with water suppression sprayers to mitigate particular matter in the form of dust and materials during their operations.” 75th Street Quarry has been credited for improving air quality in Antelope Valley. Due to the frequent rain and construction, Pusic installed a state-of-the-art water distribution network to provide water for dust suppression throughout the 30-acre facility.
In addition to following environmental laws, 75th Street Quarry is governed by Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Conservation to ensure environmental protection. While investing in the prevention of harming endangered species, they have acquired offsite land dedicated to serving as a habitat for any animals that may be impacted during operations. They have also enlisted the expertise of biologists to identify and protect any endangered species present on site. In overseeing all surface mining operations, the Department of Conservation ensures that the quarry retains all engineers that carry out a reclamation plan. They have also committed to re-harvesting any depleted resources on site through hydroseeding and other methods.
75th Street Quarry also works with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the City of Palmdale to ensure the protection of employees and the community. The quarry ensures that all subtractors are also in compliance with their environmental standards. In addition to protecting the environment and its employees, the quarry prides itself on its recycling operations. They accept a variety of construction materials to be regenerated into new materials and dirt to be stripped of debris and used by customers. Therefore, the quarry is conducting additional operations to make materials reusable and prevent landfill waste
Janis Pusic, President
75th Quarry and Recycling is a responsible building materials supplier in Palmdale, CA, and the branch of Sand Materials & Aggregate Sales Inc, which focuses on truck brokerage in Santa Clarita, CA. Operating as a family-owned business for three generations, they are continuing their business efforts in the natural materials industry.