By Evan Williams, Cambridge Companies

May 1, 2019


Transfer Stations and Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) serve needed functions to the greater community.

They serve as a means to more efficiently transport Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) for disposal and recover materials for recycling to minimize what gets sent to the landfill. Why are they relegated to the far corners of industrial parks or adjacent to closed landfills? This issue relates to the complexities of managing the potentially negative impacts these facilities can have on their neighbors and the whole community. By better understanding the effects your facility can have on the community, you can better address them or use education to build a greater understanding and appreciation for the realities of your business. The effects include the categories:

  1. Vectors
  2. Odors and Dust
  3. Wind-Blown Debris
  4. Environmental Concerns
  5. And Traffic


Any facility that receives solid waste, single-stream recyclables, or source-separated material has an issue with vectors in one way or another. Vectors cover nuisance animals that can carry disease. For solid waste facilities, this includes mice, rats, and birds. There are several operational best practices to help minimize these populations. For the mice and rats, keeping the floor clean is important. In addition, designing a facility with minimal space to create homes can help stop a colony from getting a foothold. As a best practice, engage a local pest control company. Birds, on the other hand, can pose a difficult challenge. The birds will often roost in the roof rafters, and their waste can become an issue. Several strategies are effective in dealing with birds, depending on your building type and the type of bird you are attempting to discourage. For example, bird wire discourages the birds from nesting in the areas it is applied.

In addition, you can install bird netting on the inside of your building to keep the birds from roosting in your ceiling. Another approach that can be effective is using air noisemakers to disturb the birds. You must take proactive action to keep these vectors under control, as their populations impact your facility, and your neighbors will also pay the price if you do not address this.

Read the full article on Waste Advantage Magazine