LOWVILLE – Lewis County’s solid waste efficiency is being cleaned up with a summer construction project slated to end in October.
Construction of the solid waste transfer station on National Highway 26 in the town of Lowville will involve an addition to the rear of the existing building.
The new space will make the waste depot safer for individual residents and reduce the risk of unintentional damage by commercial carriers.
Residential customers currently enter the facility with their garbage bags and throw them on the same tilting floor as the trucks.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” particularly from a security standpoint, County Director Ryan Piche said.
After construction, there will be a separate commercial tilting floor shared by the recyclable tilting floor.
In addition to the new space being built, the facility will change from a 100-yard container unloading system to a 40-yard system that requires the compaction of large amounts of waste into dense cubes.
“Basically the world has moved away from it because of the energy it takes to compact like this all year round,” Piche said. “The cost is around $ 60,000 just for the energy.”
Once the new facility is operational, the waste will be pushed from the new tilting floor and directly into 100-yard open-top containers to be transported directly to the Development Authority of New York landfill in Rodman without being compacted.
The amount of compacted garbage that fits into 40-yard containers is similar to the amount of uncompacted garbage it takes to fill a 100-yard container.
Currently, recyclables are dumped on a separate tilting floor and must be transported for loading into containers.
The new layout will have space for solid waste and recyclable waste in different sections of the same floor with access to both by the same loader to push waste into open-top waiting containers.
“It will be much more efficient,” said Piche. “Rather than the loader having to go through all the traffic on the garbage side to put it in the compactor, residents on the way trying to dispose of their own garbage. (The new system) will be much more secure and efficient.
To ensure that there is not a lot of cross-contamination between the solid waste and the recyclable sections of the tilting floors, a door wide enough for the loader but not for commercial vehicles will be between the two sections, said M . Piche.
Brooklyn-based CNS Construction will perform the renovations at a cost of $ 1.3 million, with an additional $ 500,000 for trailers, a loader and other equipment needed for the new container system.
Mr. Piche noted that, like in most counties, the solid waste management facility is a “business account,” meaning that its revenues cover its costs and that no taxpayer money – property or sale – is only used for its expenses, including this project.
The county does not expect service interruptions during construction, but encourages residential and commercial customers to exercise caution when using the site until the changes are complete.
Changes in site entrances and traffic patterns will be reported.