Many industries have discovered the importance of environmentally-sustainable practices in recent years, but at Dolese, we can trace our green roots back more than a century.
For most of the 20th century, Roger Dolese was the visionary leader of our company, and he had a number of quirks and idiosyncrasies: He loved traveling in an old Winnebago, and he wore Converse All Stars – that he had custom made to fit his size 17 feet.
But what may be his most lasting impact is the footprint he did his best not to leave – one on the environment. He wouldn’t allow trees to be cut down unless it was absolutely necessary. He asked that some trees be relocated, and that other trees be replaced with new ones. And he treated every part of the environment with that reverence. Today, we carry on this tradition that Mr. Dolese started.
Under Mr. Dolese's guidance and direction, Mixer Truck Wash Racks were constructed long before the DEQ required them - because they were the right thing to do to protect the environment from concrete wash waters.
We strive to approach every aspect of our business cleanly, honestly and respectfully. We deal honestly with our customers and partners, we keep our plants and trucks clean and we treat the environment and our neighbors with the utmost respect. At Dolese sand plants, each of our dredges runs on clean and quiet electricity instead of diesel. That means noise is kept to a minimum and fuel spills are impossible. When we find ourselves with excess concrete, instead of discarding it, we recycle it and use it as a construction base or as a backfill. And though we don’t do it for awards, we’ve definitely won our share.
Several years ago, when we acquired ready-mix concrete operations in Louisiana, we learned that the previous owners hadn’t shared our respect for the environment. For years, they had discharged waste concrete into the nearby wetland. So we decided to do the right thing. Although no agency required us to do so, we partnered with Arcadis and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money planting native trees and doing our best to restore it to its original state. We have since sold our operations in Louisiana. However, we were proud to leave the area better than we found it and set an example for others who follow in our footsteps.
The materials we mine, refine and distribute are vital for communities across Oklahoma. But we only can do what we do if the public allows it. So our relationships with our neighbors are very important to us, and we do all we can to minimize the impact of our operations on the landowners and communities around us. At certain facilities, we’ve eliminated backup alarms on trucks and began using strobe lights for safety; also we turned bright lights away from our neighbor's homes to maintain relations. We often water down roads to keep fugitive dust under control. We minimize vibrations and disruptions from blasting in our quarries. We use electric dredges in our sand plants to keep noise down. Though we try to improve all we can, we’re always happy to hear from our neighbors about anything more we can do. Please feel free to contact us anytime.
Dolese has long been committed to preserving the environment. All of our operations meet or exceed local, state, and federal environmental regulations. Additionally, Dolese is dedicated to the reclamation of our former mine sites to a beneficial use while avoiding the unnecessary disturbance to vegetation, habitat, and landscape features. Several of our former mining locations have been reclaimed, or are committed to being reclaimed, as recreational facilities and donated to communities. Dolese Youth Park in Oklahoma City is just one example of a mine site that has been recreated into a beautifully landscaped lake that is now enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
Dolese recognizes the importance of operating a sustainable company, so we strive to recycle many by-products resulting from our operations. We regularly recycle paper and cardboard. We also recycle electronics, such as outdated computers. Any scrap metals, petroleum products, batteries, and oil filters are processed by recycling firms. At our Block Plant, we purchase remanufactured pallets when possible, and we sometimes repair them ourselves, if possible. Pallets that are not repairable are ground-up for mulch.
Fortunately for everyone, all construction materials companies are regulated by numerous local, state and federal agencies. We operate under their guidance and oversight as they closely monitor everything from air quality, water leaving our facilities and impacts to nearby sites of cultural importance, to spill prevention, and much, much more. We value these regulatory agencies, and we’re proud that they have used some of our facilities as training grounds for their inspectors.
During the permitting phase of every quarry and sand plant, part of our job is to come up with an environmentally-friendly plan for the future of the site once mining is complete. This planning is called reclamation. Most sand plants are only active for a few decades before being returned to a landowner or community as a water supply lake, fishing pond, recreational area or park. For example, OKC’s Dolese Youth Park was once a sand plant. Now, it is a beautiful park that offers fishing opportunities for many in the former sand lake. This unique lake is one of the few that is stocked with trout each year. Aggregate quarries have a typically much longer lifespan – often measured in hundreds of years – but once reclaimed they can become stunningly clean and clear watershed lakes that provide much needed water to many areas of the state. Today, the site of Dolese’s first quarry, Big Canyon, is undergoing its own reclamation.
If you have any ideas about how to improve our environmental impact, if you happen to notice something that doesn’t seem right or if you’re unhappy with us or our operations for any reason, we want to hear from you. Please contact us anytime.