Waste Advantage Magazine

Transfer stations rural transfer station design


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Since small transfer stations in rural or tribal settings receive considerably lower volumes of waste and customer vehicles than large urban or suburban facilities, many of the design criteria will simply not apply. Cost frequently is a major consideration for small rural transfer stations, limiting what can be done. Consequently, rural transfer stations are often uncovered or partially covered facilities. Partially covered sites might be enclosed on three sides with the vehicle entrance side open, or simply have a roof with no walls.

A common design uses a single open-top trailer situated beneath a raised customer tipping area. The raised customer tipping area allows customers to back up to the trailer or drop boxes and directly unload their waste into the roll-off trailer. A hopper is not usually used. When constructing a raised tipping area, taking advantage of natural grades within the site can reduce construction costs. If favorable grades do not exist, a simple earthen retaining wall and access ramp can be constructed to create the multilevel layout desired.

Some type of safety restraint should be incorporated on the tipping area to guard against falls. Using a removable constraint, such as a rope, chain, gate, or posts, allows tipping vehicles to unload waste unimpeded and facilitates site cleaning. Driving surfaces ideally are paved to minimize dust generation, but all-weather gravel surfacing is a cost-effective alternative to asphalt pavement. Another alternative is hosing down dirt areas during operating hours. The use of drop boxes requires a concrete or asphalt pad. Ideally, the facility is surrounded by a fence and gated. The gate should be locked during non-operating hours to keep out large vectors, trespassers and illegal dumpers. Fences also are helpful in containing windblown litter. It is not uncommon for remote sites to lack water, sewer, or electrical service.

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