Montgomery County Solid Waste District employees will move into the new operations center with three generators April 1. The center is expected to be more efficient and able to operate during natural disasters. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY
Photo: Holly Shively
Photo: Holly Shively

Solid Waste Distribution adds new high-tech operations center

Workers at the Solid Waste District will move into a new state-of-the-art operations center expected to increase efficiency and prepare the county for a natural disaster.

Approximately $8 million was spent by Montgomery County to build the new operations center, add power backup and improve campus communication. The district receives up to 3,000 tons of solid waste from over 1,000 customers per day, county officials said.

“In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, such as a tornado or other high-wind and storm events, the Solid Waste District is a critical part of the recovery of our community,” said Jeff Jordan, director of the Emergency Management Agency.

There will be three natural gas-powered generators as opposed to one large power supply to create a redundant backup power system that will supply power even if a generator fails, said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.

“As many of you saw during our widespread water outage last month, it is not a question of if an emergency will happen, but when it will happen,” Jordan said.

Other major benefits of the new operations center include improved data integrity and campus security, training facilities, locker rooms and offices for managers overlooking the scales, county officials said.

“This is vitally important. From the new operations center, our staff can see the scales, the traffic to and from the facility and any safety or security risks in real time,” Dodge said.

The high-tech center also has a looped data system, meaning if one path is blocked information can still get through, ensuring the safety of workers and data, she said. The new operations system will use the right amount of power as opposed to the oversized power infrastructure left when the solid waste facility stopped incinerating in the 1990s.

The facility is pursuing LEED certification, said commissioner Carolyn Rice.

The operations center will also consolidate all staff under one roof, which is expected to make communication easier than when employees were housed in several aging facilities. The roughly 65 employees will move into the new center on April 1, said Patrick Turnbull, director of environmental services.

“We need to ensure that this facility can operate safely and be predictable even under difficult and challenging circumstance, said Miamisburg mayor and chairman of the Solid Waste Management Policy Committee, Dick Church.

The county’s Solid Waste District was established in 1956 and two incinerators were built in the 1960s. In the ’90s, the landfill started hauling waste collected in at the solid waste center to modern landfills. In 2014, the operations were centralized at the 2600 Sandridge Drive facility, saving $8 million in deferred capital costs and $1.3 million annually in reduced operational costs, Lieberman said.

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