03/27/09 — Landfill gets new dropoff areas

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Landfill gets new dropoff areas

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 27, 2009 1:46 PM

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Shirley Outlaw drops off some of her recyclable items at the Dudley Sanitary Landfill as Site Attendant Ralph Wiggins looks on Friday morning.

DUDLEY -- Wayne County residents who haul trash to the county landfill no longer have to worry about negotiating their way along a muddy path only to end up in the wrong place and face-to-face with a bulldozer or a teetering mountain of trash.

A recently completed nearly $400,000 white goods project at the front of the landfill site was designed primarily for safety reasons while at the same time making trips to the landfill more convenient.

The white goods area is just one of several projects that have been undertaken by the county's solid waste department over the past several months. Ramps are being widened at 10 of the county's convenience sites, and new and larger buildings for the site attendants are being constructed as well.

"It works great," Tim Rogers, director of the county's solid waste department, said of the white goods area. "People come in, drive up on the scales, drive up on asphalt to the top, dump it out into a box, drive out on asphalt and never get their tires dirty.

"They don't have to worry about a nail or mud or anything or the big equipment. Most people won't look at this part of it, but the reason we did it was safety."

There have been problems with people coming in and not being familiar with the landfill getting lost and ending up at the borrow pit where the big equipment is working, he said.

"Or they are back there side by side with a huge dump truck which is dumping this large load out," Rogers said. "They dump out and leave the load and sometimes that load will fall over."

Several large signs direct people to the white goods site.

"We instruct them when they get to the window as to what to do, but you can't miss it. You can see the signs from here (office)," Rogers said. "We made them pretty large so there is no doubt and there is a big red arrow pointing to it."

The white areas have separate boxes for garbage -- unseparated trash that could include items such as furniture and carpet -- and other boxes for homeowner only construction debris and for cardboard.

All of the boxes are for non-commercial waste only.

"Nothing goes up there but pickups, cars and trailers, no dump trucks or anything like that," he said. "That is just for the public."

There is a $5 minimum fee for trash that has not been separated. Vehicles are driven onto a scale next to the landfill office where they are weighed. The vehicles are weighed again after the trash is dumped.

"If it is under one ton it is a $5 minimum," Rogers said. "Most individuals won't have a ton and the cost is $30 per ton."

The new area has some built-in expansion capability so that additional boxes can be added if more items are added to the county's recycling list.

The county has two boxes set aside for collecting electronic items, such as computer monitors. One is located at the Dudley site and the other at Pikeville.

"Anything we recycle, we don't charge for (collecting), particularly if we are getting paid for (it)," Rogers said.

Like the white goods areas, the decision to widen ramps at the convenience sites was safety driven. The old ramps did not provide much room for people to get in and out of their vehicles, Rogers said.

Five site ramps were expanded last year and five more are under way. The expanded ramps are four-feet wider and will have rails as well.

The cost is $25,000 per site.

Another $10,000 per site is being spent on new buildings for the site attendants. The buildings have vinyl siding and metal roofs and should not have to be replaced for many years, Rogers said.

Rogers said he hopes the remainder of the convenience work will be completed within a month.

Another safety feature at the site includes green vests that all on-duty site attendants are required to wear.

"We did it for two reasons," Rogers said. "One is safety. You can see them so they won't get run over out there walking in the traffic and when you go up it will be easier to pick out who is working there. You don't have to wonder, it is obvious who the site attendant is."

Other changes are in store for some of the convenience sites. The county hopes to consolidate the Eureka and Fremont sites at a new location yet to be determined. The Fremont site was somewhat cut off by I-795, Rogers said.

"Few people are using the site now," he said. "At Eureka there is not a whole lot of traffic there either. The new one be nice, modern, larger with a place to put metal and furniture. It will have a compactor."

As part of the county's four-day work week, the landfill is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays. The convenience sites are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on those same days.