By Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
Transfer Station Design Tips
Factors like efficiency, durability and cost can make significant impacts on a facility’s operational efficiency.
At its core, an MSW transfer station is about convenience. It is meant to be a more convenient location to dispose of material than the landfill. There are always commercial customers, other haulers, residential customers, and others that are looking for a convenient and cost-effective place to tip at or just to empty their pick-up trucks. The key to having the right facility is based on many factors, but these are five key factors to conder: Location, efficiency, durability, flexibility and cost. We will dive into each of those a bit further in this article.
Location: The location of the facility needs to be right for you and for your customers. If you own your own hauling company, it needs to be located so that your vehicles can easily get to it in terms of access roads, expressways, etc., and it needs to be located within an area of the market that is as centrally located as possible to maximize your fuel efficiency and drive time so as to not waste your drivers’ time on the road so you can maximize routes.
Assuming that your trucks are the priority, the primary location decision needs to be based on this factor, and the third-party customers would be a secondary consideration. Another factor for you could be the various towns or municipalities that you are dealing with. Each one has their own way of dealing with waste disposal and recycling and will have very different ideas on what a host agreement could look like. It is very important that you have these discussions with them individually to see who wants you there and who doesn’t and how that impacts your ability to get a permit and how it impacts you financially.
When it comes to your customers, they want a facility that is easy to get in and out of, has a quick turnaround time on-site, is cost-effective to tip at, and is safe. You should work hard to identify who your potential third-party customers are before finalizing your location so you can work with them to get agreements early in the process for them to utilize your facility to help increase your volume commitments and potential revenues. Of course, this would be your larger customers. All the smaller “one-off” contractors and residential customers, if you decide to allow them on-site, would be a bonus.