The debut of the Mark VII monorail fleet in 2008 marked the beginning of an era, and the end of another. After more than 20 years in operation, Disneyland®
Monorail Purple - the last of the Mark V monorails - was retired from Guest service last fall.
Previously, the other three monorails in the Mark V fleet had been shipped to Vancouver, Canada, where each chassis was reused in building the Mark VII fleet. But, with no fourth member set to join the Mark VII family, alternate plans had to be shaped for Monorail Purple's future after its final run.
"Some of its parts were reused in building the new monorails," according to Larry Vick, Environmental Affairs. But what about the remaining 139-foot steel and fiberglass body? "Large items like these aren't accepted by landfills," Larry said.
So, rather than letting the remnants of the monorail sit in a bone yard, his team opted for a greener solution.
Section by section, Monorail Purple was disassembled and loaded onto flatbed trucks for transport to a scrap metal facility in Anaheim. Upon arrival, the monorail was completely dismantled, and the repurposable materials fed into a shredder to be cut down into smaller pieces. More than 38,000 pounds of steel were recovered and shipped to plants in Asia where they will be combined with fresh iron ore and recycled into new steel. The Never-ending Recycling of Steel
More steel is recycled every year than any other type of material, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. On average, every three pounds of new steel is comprised from approximately two pounds of old steel. Its production requires reduced quantities of iron ore and material resources, produces smaller amounts of carbon dioxide, and utilizes less energy than producing steel from all-new components.
"The metal can be repurposed into any type of steel it needs to be," Larry says.
Recycled steel is frequently used in building new automobiles and appliances, forged into construction materials, or utilized in items as varied as highway guard rails and food containers. Once these products reach the end of their useful life, they can be recycled into new steel again and again.
So while Monorail Purple may now only live on in photos and memories, its service will be extended indefinitely through recycling. The raw materials that once carried millions of park Guests over two decades could soon again foster the innovation of tomorrow.