Solid Waste & Recycling


Better Drop Off and Transfer Systems

Rural communities throughout North America are under pressure to close old landfills. Municipalities must weigh the feasibility of building new landfills with two alternatives:1) Closure and consolida...

Rural communities throughout North America are under pressure to close old landfills. Municipalities must weigh the feasibility of building new landfills with two alternatives:

1) Closure and consolidation of many small open pit dumps into one large local landfill; or

2) Landfill closure and transfer of waste to larger, more efficient regional facilities, usually sited farther away.

Consolidation of local landfills usually means that the distance to landfill is less than one hour, so direct hauling is usually more economical than developing a fixed transfer site. However, the savings earned by such local landfill consolidation must be compared to the potentially staggering new costs of collecting and hauling the waste (that residents previously dropped off themselves). Regional transfer, on the other hand, typically requires that waste be hauled over long distances, often more than 100 kilometers away. In this case, the challenge is to transfer and transport large volumes of municipal waste over long distances in an uncompacted state.

So, regionalization presents challenges but also opportunities as small communities struggle to develop strategies that are cost effective and publicly acceptable. To offer improved service at a reasonable cost, small communities must consider streamlined collection and transfer, efficient use of manpower, compaction and bulk transfer.

Innovative solutions

With these challenges in mind, equipment maker Haul-All offers integrated disposal systems for rural communities that are aesthetic, user-friendly and cost-effective. The Lethbridge, Alberta-based company manufactures storage containers, collection vehicles and transfer stations designed to automate the collection, storage and transfer of solid waste and recyclables. To overcome the problem that landfill consolidation requires residents to make longer trips to the consolidated landfill, Haul-All offers a better alternative by allowing them to make use of drop-off centres at existing sites.

Conventional container-based solutions ignore residents’ preference for cleanliness, accessibility and ease of use. They also don’t satisfy growing environmental requirements for leachate and animal control, or operational requirements for a small site footprint and efficient use of space.

Haul-All’s animal-proof six cubic yard drop-off containers (HL-6) are ideal for rural conditions; they can be strategically placed throughout the region. They occupy a very small footprint and therefore can be placed in high-profile locations such as shopping malls or other public areas. Custom-designed openings minimize contamination and allow waste, organics and recyclables to be collected side by side. HL-6 containers can be adapted to new streams as recycling and organic waste diversion initiatives expand. Clean and odourless, they’re easy to use and public acceptance is very strong, particularly since residents can access them at all times. HL-6 containers continue to look like new after years of service, due to No-Touch-To-Dump loading, galvanneal steel construction and DuPont powder paint treatment.

Bins are emptied on regular collection routes, serviced and washed by the company’s special RP235 dual-compartment 35 cubic yard collection vehicle. Using an hydraulic side-dumping operation, waste, recyclables and organics (or combinations thereof) can be collected together. Semi-automated unloading ensures high-efficiency collection of six cubic yards of material in less than three minutes. A patented 2:1 compaction system lowers costs by maximizing collection volume.

Regional transfer alternatives

Landfill closure and regional transfer is usually more cost effective than consolidation since larger more regional state-of-the-art landfill facilities have economies of scale. However, lower tip fees can be offset by higher transfer and transport costs to the distant facility (especially if the waste is uncompacted). The Transtor (TS500) modular transfer system provides savings by eliminating conventional transfer station costs(e.g., buildings and loaders) and by reducing the number of trips to the landfill (i.e., since payloads are compacted).

The Transtor system efficiently collects waste, recyclables, bulky items and yard waste loading either through user doors or, in large collection vehicles, a unique open-top system. When full, the Transtor pivots to top-load the hauling trailer using onsite hydraulic power or transport-trailer hydraulics (if site power is unavailable). Fifty-three cubic yards may be loaded in less than five minutes; the driver performs the operation, thus eliminating the need for site loaders and operators. Transtors are self-contained to prevent leachate and other environmental hazards such as exposed waste, strewn litter or animal intrusion. Long service life is assured through stainless steel construction and powder paint treatment.

Entrenched problems associated with uncompacted rural waste are resolved by integrating the Transtor with compacting, full-eject trailers that generate payloads ranging from 20 to 30 tonnes (depending upon local weight restrictions). Typically, a Transtor system trailer will service up to seven Transtors, handling 350 cubic yards of loose municipal solid waste before transport to the landfill. This lowers conventional hauling and truck operation costs. Transtors can be sited at closed landfills or new remote sites; they can be used to replace older container or compactor-based operations. Typical system installation time from order to operation is six months.

Alan Charky is marketing manager for VQuip Inc. in Burlington, Ontario.

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