Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Konell uses past to build the future

Local construction firm honored for recycling materials, reducing waste
by: Jim Hart John Sayles, president of Konell Construction and Demolition Corporation in Sandy, stands in front of some of the company’s track-laying equipment: a dozer, left, and a million-dollar excavator with an arm that reaches 95 feet into the air.

There's no doubt Konell Construction and Demolition Corporation is a company deeply rooted in Sandy.

Not only does it have a majority of employees from the local community, said Corporation President John Sayles, but also most of Konell workers have been with the firm at least 15 years.

Konell also supports the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce in its largest fundraisers such as Fall for the Arts and Music Fair and Feast.

But community support goes much further, with the company's longtime support of local youths and their activities such as athletics, FFA, music groups and the nonprofit AntFarm.

Konell is being recognized as the best corporate business of 2011 by a committee of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sayles and the Konell business will be honored at the chamber's monthly luncheon at noon Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Sandy Fire Department Annex, 17459 Bruns Ave.

In its attempt to be as 'green' as possible, Konell does a lot of recycling at its facility just south of Fred Meyer.

'The city of Sandy dumps all of its concrete, asphalt and brush here,' Sayles said. 'Local homeowners, businesses and contractors in the area bring their recycling materials here. We also sell all the materials we salvage from old buildings.'

Although the word demolition (part of the company's name) often means driving a bulldozer through a building, to Konell it means dismantling, recycling and reusing.

Instead of driving a bulldozer through a building and scraping up the debris to haul to a landfill, Konell will dismantle the building and find uses for almost everything.

'We have people coming in here daily,' he said, 'to buy pallets of bricks or lumber or crushed concrete.'

The wood that is in such bad condition it cannot be reused (which would normally be burned or sent to a landfill) Konell grinds into what is called hog fuel, and is used as a biomass fuel in industrial situations - replacing fossil fuel energy.

'We have been known to go into a building,' he said, 'and dismantle and recycle it to the level of 95 percent. That's how much of the building is recycled or reused.'

Konell even crushes the foundation and uses it for such things as road beds, parking lots or backfill for utilities.

Konell has been in Sandy since 1982, founded by the late Steve Konell - one of Sayles' best friends. Among the business' owners is Jeff Konell, Steve's brother, who is a foreman.

Konell Construction and Demolition is located at 36000 Industrial Way. For more information, call 503-668-3516 or visit konell.net.