by Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
November 1, 2017
Gathering the information needed from an owner to build a lasting tipping floor.
The Global Development Research Corporation defines tipping floors as “an unloading area for vehicles that are delivering MSW to a transfer station or incinerator.” While technically speaking, they are much more difficult to design and maintain than this simple description implies. There are also tipping floors that handle many different types of products beyond municipal solid waste (MSW).
Important questions to address include:
- What is right for the end user or owner of the facility?
- How to serve their needs the best?
- What will meet their design and operational objectives?
Tipping floors have been a constant topic of conversation for as long as they have existed. There are probably thousands of different ideas and concepts on the “right way” to design a tipping floor to withstand the given abuse of the facility’s operations. Some focus on the concrete mix design, some focus on the aggregate, some provide a sacrificial wear layer, and some install toppings. Again, there are many ways to go about designing a transfer station tipping floor.
No transfer facility is created equal. They all need to be treated differently and the owner needs to provide information to the designers. That information can impact the usable life of the floor by using the best design for the facility. The main thing is to understand the operations of the facility. The owner, who will be dealing with the material on the floor daily, really determines how long a floor will last.
Tipping floors exist at a lot of different facilities. Anyone who takes in raw materials for processing or transferring material has a tipping floor. Within the solid waste industry, the following products on tipping floors can include:
- Construction and demolition debris (C&D)
- Recycled materials
- Municipal solid waste (MSW)
Some of these materials are harder on floors than others. C&D materials are typically heavy and can damage the floors from being tipped out of the container and onto the floor. Recycled materials are much easier on the floor because they aren’t as heavy but include abrasive liquids.