Before the redevelopment of Stapleton could start, DIA was faced with an estimated cost of $75 million for removing the runways, taxiways and ramps from the old Stapleton airport. In 1998 the City of Denver put out a request for proposals to remove those structures and recycle the concrete and asphalt. Recycled Materials, Inc. got the contract and leased Stapleton land north of 56th where they recycled and sold the material. The initial estimates were that approximately six million tons of concrete and asphalt could be recycled from runways and two million additional tons of concrete and asphalt could be recycled from the demolition of buildings.
Recycled Materials kept up with the clearing of parcels to meet the development schedule—and initially sales of the recycled concrete and asphalt went well. Then the recession hit and sales dropped off. Now, even though the economy has bounced back and the construction market in Denver has taken off, sales of the recycled concrete and asphalt did not recover; and Forest City and the City, which were expected to buy a significant amount of the material, did not end up purchasing large quantities.
Now 1.2 million tons of concrete and asphalt remain on the site and Recycled Materials is in bankruptcy—but they have informed Stapleton Development Corporation (SDC), which holds their lease, they are working with a company that is interested in buying the materials. There is no final resolution at this time, but SDC is working with Recycled Materials and exploring all options to get the land cleared so it can be turned over to Forest City for development.