By Evan Williams, Cambridge Companies

The functionality of a solid waste facility is just as important as safety. It all begins in the design phase.

For example, we have all seen solid waste facilities that are in a rough condition. While this is a common state of facilities in the industry, it is not a predetermined result.. Through careful site and building planning, as well as a dedicated operations and maintenance program, solid waste facilities can remain in good condition.

We examine several design approaches that may help to improve facility durability and minimize required maintenance.

Designing for Durability

For transfer stations and material recovery facilities (MRFs), the goal is to put your money into the areas that will get concentrated and continual wear and tear. Pay close attention to making these assemblies easy to repair to limit future downtime and minimize the opportunities to get debris trapped in areas that are hard to clean.

Focus Area: Tipping Floor/Area

Push Walls:
Your team must study your incoming material stream to determine peak times and volumes. When plotted against the transfer trailer loading times, your team must project the volume of material the building will hold as a part of your everyday operations. Using this information, your team must plot out the size of the material pile you will have, as well as its height. This height will dictate the height of the push and scrape walls. Heavy concrete walls are the material of choice for higher volume facilities. Design these walls with sufficient thickness and reinforcement to withstand the daily beating from the material and the loader. Additional steel embedment, thicker wall assemblies, and steel plate facings can all improve the performance of this assembly.

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