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Dan Hust | Democrat

Workers can be found on the ground and 30 feet in the air working on the transfer station’s ceiling, which will be insulated to prevent condensate from raining down on haulers.

Ready for ‘single-stream’

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — September 28, 2010 — Single-stream recycling is about to come to the county, thanks to a new transfer station and materials recovery facility (MRF) now under construction next to the county landfill in Monticello.
“It makes recycling an even easier sell,” Sullivan County Recycling Coordinator Bill Cutler said.
Currently, the county has a dual-stream system, or more accurately, multi-stream, as recyclables like glass, plastic and paper are separated by residents, businesses and haulers before they get into the waste stream.
Expected to begin around January 1, single-stream recycling means users of the county’s solid waste system will put all their recyclables in one bin and all their non-recyclables in a separate garbage container – no more sorting one recyclable from another.
Utilizing the new $7.5 million MRF and transfer station, the recyclables will be shipped out in bulk via a company that will sort and sell them (officials said they’re close to choosing that company out of several proposals).
The transfer station will be privately operated by IESI, though the smaller transfer stations in the rest of the county will remain in use – including in Ferndale and the Town of Mamakating, where the activity is currently (and problematically) centered.
Those facilities will revert back to their original intended use as trash waystations.
“The county wants to get into the transfer station and get out of Ferndale and Mamakating as soon as they can,” affirmed Solid Waste Director John Kehlenbeck.
That may happen by late October, he said, though the adjacent MRF won’t be fully operational until the new year.
The site, sandwiched between the old MRF and the now-closed landfill, is a busy one, with as many as 40 steelworkers, pipefitters, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons and earthmovers at the location every day, under the watchful eye of the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the general contractor, Verticon.
The 38,000-square-foot complex is made of steel and concrete and stands 30 feet tall at its highest point – enough room for even huge trucks to safely lift their dump bodies.
Five 28-foot-high doors lead into the unloading bays at the transfer station, where non-recyclable garbage will be dumped and then shoveled into a trailer waiting inside what Kehlenbeck calls the “loadout tunnel.”
The enclosure will keep noises and odors to a minimum, he said, as will an earthen berm on the outside and a damp mist sprayed on the garbage itself.
Separated from the transfer station by a small moveable wall, the MRF will feature its own 28-foot-high doors leading to six unloading bays – two for small businesses like contractors and masons, four for commercial haulers with large tractor-trailers.
The MRF will collect the recyclables, and a small addition on the side will feature a second-floor window to allow schoolchildren and other visitors to view the proceedings and to hold classes for workers. The first floor will feature bathrooms, a lunchroom and an equipment room.
All traffic will be routed down one-way roads now under construction, ensuring a non-congested stream of trucks into and out of both parts of the facility.
Kehlenbeck and Cutler said the complex will allow the area’s in-county haulers to be competitive with those already offering single-stream recycling via transport to out-of-county locations.
“We’ll give them a level playing field,” Kehlenbeck predicted.
As a result, recycling tonnage is expected to increase as much as 25 percent in the first year, helping pay for the facility, which is twice as large as the old MRF and can handle twice as many tons per day (65).
Revenue to the county from recyclables may not necessarily increase, however, and not just because of market fluctuations. The new arrangement with a private operator, said Cutler, means the county will no longer sell its recyclables directly to recyclers.
“All we’ve been assured is the county won’t be charged for recyclables,” Kehlenbeck confirmed.
And while the 15 solid waste operators on the county’s payroll will be retained, SullivanArc – which supplies about eight sorters under a contract with the county – will have to find another worksite.
In the meantime, county officials are planning to ramp up promotion of the new recycling method and the transfer station/MRF, which will be open for tours, especially to schools.
For more information, contact Cutler by calling 807-0261.

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