Transfer Stations (See endnote 12)

  • • Waste transfer stations which provide temporary storage and, depending on the size of the facility, appropriate recycling, compacting of waste, and bailing of waste to reduce space needed for transportation and disposal, can be very efficient and cost-effective. The location of the site is highly significant because considerable cost can be saved by having it close to the waste collection area, easily accessible for transfer trucks, and close to utilities which will be needed to operate it.
  • • There are several environmental problems associated with these units including noise, odors, dust, vectors, high traffic, and litter. In urban areas, typically there are not substantial buffer zones between the transfer station and the community, and therefore the people may be subjected at different levels of intensity to the aforementioned problems.

Best Practices for Transfer Stations

  • • Establish transfer stations in well-drained land away from population centers and in flood- free areas. Design the site such that the buildings fit in with the surroundings and the area is landscaped to disguise its true purpose. The transfer station must be readily accessible to good roads including superhighways, rail lines, and waterways if the waste will be transmitted by boat to the disposal facility.
  • • Establish a facility noise level limit of 55 dB, test the noise level frequently, and enforce the appropriate standards.
  • • Use buildings made of concrete with double-glazed windows and sound-absorbing materials at the transfer building site to reduce noise levels.
  • • Surround the facility with trees, berms, or concrete walls to absorb sound. Also, use wing concrete walls which will extend beyond the length of the longest vehicle at all transfer buildings to reduce sound.
  • • Keep the doors of the facility closed during operating hours except when the vehicles are entering or exiting.
  • • Either use visual warning devices for vehicle backup or the lowest setting of the back-up alarms.
  • • Establish operating hours away from early morning and late evening times.
  • • Remove all wastes from the site before nightfall and frequently clean the area, especially the tipping pit, carefully.
  • • Install a ventilation system with air filters or scrubbers and a misting system with deodorizers to mask or neutralize odors. Also use biofilters, where the odor in the air has to pass through organic materials such as wood chips, mulch, or soil to capture the odor molecules.
  • • Pave or use gravel all-purpose roads leading to the transfer station site to reduce dust levels. Keep the facility roads clean and washed and wash all waste collection vehicles before they leave the site.
  • • Make sure that there is little space between the sides of the vehicle and the dump area and use plastic curtains at that space to help prevent dust from entering the air of the community.
  • • Use a professional pest control company with an appropriate contract to make sure that all insects and rodents are eliminated and that harborage, food, and water are not available. Have this supervised closely to ensure compliance.
  • • Pretreat all areas of suspected or anticipated insect or rodent harborage.
  • • Provide a special fund for assisting the neighbors in insect and rodent control if the source is potentially the transfer facility.
  • • Restrict collection trucks from using residential streets unless they are making actual pickups of solid waste.
  • • Create acceleration, deceleration, and turning lanes at site entrances to avoid tying up traffic.
  • • Constantly maintain and upgrade all roads leading to the facility and within the facility.
  • • Ensure that all transport vehicles comply with a plan which has been developed by the facility and the community to cause the least upset in traffic patterns and least annoyance to the community.
  • • Do not allow incoming trucks to line up on community streets.
  • • Require that all incoming and outgoing loads of solid waste are fully covered and the trucks are leak proof.
  • • Use a team of individuals to scout the area around the facility to spot litter and remove it promptly.
  • • Use a perimeter fence to prevent litter blown by the wind from entering surrounding neighborhoods.
  • • Establish a facility and complaint operating log to record all incidents to be analyzed later in order to determine how best to prevent the problem leading to the complaint from occurring again. Also record any worker accidents, health incidents, and accidental releases to the air, water, or land.
  • • Set up a community phone line so that the installation can respond immediately to community complaints.
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