Commissioners vote today on massive trash compactor

Montgomery County commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on a $1.7 million purchase of a pre-load compactor for the Montgomery County Solid Waste District Transfer and Recycling Facility. The machine is like one pictured operating in Snohomish County in Washington state. SUBMITTED BY MONTGOMERY COUNTY
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Montgomery County commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on a $1.7 million purchase of a pre-load compactor for the Montgomery County Solid Waste District Transfer and Recycling Facility. The machine is like one pictured operating in Snohomish County in Washington state. SUBMITTED BY MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Montgomery County’s potential $1.7M purchase would help keep lines moving for public dumpers, official says.

Montgomery County commissioners are on the verge of purchasing a mammoth $1.7 million trash compactor so the waste transfer station can more easily handle hard-to-compact items like mattresses and box springs along with old boats, camping trailers and discarded above-ground swimming pools.

Waste at the Montgomery County Solid Waste District Transfer and Recycling Facility is currently pushed into concrete troughs with a front-end loader and compacted with a tamping crane before shoved into outbound truck trailers in one of three operational loading tunnels, according to the county.

While commercial waste arrives already more compacted and easily fills trailers to their legal weight limits, that’s not the case with waste dropped off by the public, which often includes material with many voids, said Matt Hilliard, the county’s Environmental Services director.

“It’s hard to make weight with that type of trash the public drops off. It’s very bulky,” he said.

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The purchase will make the loading trucks bound for a landfill more efficient and keep lines moving for public dumpers, Hilliard said.

Currently, the tipping floor is temporarily closed to the public one to three times a day while commercial and public waste is mixed, according to Hilliard.

The new compactor will eliminate the daily rounds of mixing debris and the public waste will go straight into the new machine that will be installed in one of two unused tunnels, according to the county.

Montgomery County commissioners are expected to approve the purchase of the SSI Shredding Systems, Inc. Series 2500SPH compactor at today’s 1:30 p.m. meeting.

The compactor is capable of handling 80 tons of trash an hour, squishing it down to maximize payloads, Hilliard said.

“It’s very efficient,” he said. “It basically crunches that down and pushes it out to the trailer. And we can load a trailer in 20 minutes.”

Each week, 45-52 tons of trash leave the facility on a variety of trucks with loads varying from 38,000 to 60,000 tons. Depending on the day, 85-100 loads depart the transfer station bound for Rumpke-owned landfills, a majority shipped to Rumpke Sanitary Landfill in Colerain Twp. according to the county.

According to the manufacturer, the machine can produce a bale size up to 17 feet long and its electronic weigh system compacts waste to a uniform density, providing equal weight distribution across a trailer. Generally, a trailer will be loaded with two bales, according to the county.

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The compactor will also allow operations to keep moving if one of the other three primary loading tunnels requires work, Hilliard said.

“We can now do maintenance without the stress of trying to get everything done in two tunnels or trying to rework some of the other scales,” he said.

A scale was removed from the dormant tunnel where the new compactor will be housed. Additional concrete and electrical work estimated at roughly $200,000 will be required for the installation of the compactor, according to the county.

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