Solid Waste and Solidification

Waste Bulking and Transfer Stations

RPA’s experience in this field ranges from:

  • the emptying of small containers/consignments of difficult wastes and the bulking up of the contents into safe composites suitable for processing within specialist processing plant, either on-site or elsewhere, to:
  • the emptying of collection vehicles for household, commercial and similar industrial wastes at transfer stations and the bulking up of these wastes into maximum weight vehicles for ongoing transport to the point of final disposal. These latter types of bulking up operations have included simple loading into maximum sized vehicles, compaction into specifically strengthened ISO containers and the production of high density bales and the placing of these bales into lightweight box trailers.

In all the above examples, RPA were involved not only with the materials handling activities, but also with the associated ventilation, fume and odour control and with the collection, containment and treatment of all spillages, extrusions and wash down, etc waters. The integrated design approach which RPA used in each of these projects added demonstrable value on each occasion.

Within the materials handling activities, RPA have always focussed on ensuring that the essential core purpose of the site is not overshadowed by the surrounding issues. In most bulking and transfer station activities, this core function is the smooth, safe and rapid turn around of the vehicles and the smooth and rapid movement of the wastes through the facility with the minimum of effort and functional steps in between. This should be subject only to proper standards of safety and legal compliance. In order to achieve this optimum balance between functionality and compliance, careful integration is necessary between the fundamental layout of the site and the optional ways of achieving the necessary safety and environmental controls.

RPA have been part of the successful design teams for a number of waste transfer and compaction stations in South East Asia for household and commercial types of wastes, including one buried within a mountainside, where the only accesses for normal ventilation, for effluents, for fire fighting and for smoke release in the event of a fire, was via the vehicle entry and exit tunnels. In all cases, optimum utilisation of space was an essential component of the designs.

One of the features which RPA introduced into these designs was the development of a scrubber system which not only removes dust and other particulates from the working environment and exhaust air, but also removes the odour. The removal of odour is achieved by a novel integration of the scrubber with the process that is used to treat the liquor that is produced from plant washdown and from what squeezes out of the refuse when it is compacted. The treated air is then sent through a final polishing scrubber, before it is discharged to atmosphere. We understand that this polishing function has never been needed. The novel combination of two discrete engineering technologies (namely off-gas dust and odour scrubbing plus effluent treatment) is typical of the RPA Integrated approach. Both systems are operational and have produced an impressive standard of performance.

At other facilities, RPA have evolved designs for ensuring safe and environmentally contained and ventilated working areas for opening and removing the contents from drums and other containers. This has been for a whole range of wastes, including hazardous wastes, volatile wastes and reactive wastes. Cleaning / decontamination of the empty containers has also been a feature at some of these facilities.

Other designs have simply catered for the separation of individual consignments of drums and containers into groups of compatible materials ready for ongoing transport to specific specialist reclamation/disposal facilities.

In most cases there has been a combination of container emptying and of separation into groups ready for ongoing transport.

In all cases, there is a need for a comprehensive and safe system of work. In addition there must always be an up to the minute inventory of what is on site and where it is on site, together with a clear and precise audit trail for all the contents of every consignment throughout the site.

RPA have successfully developed and detailed appropriate systems for a number of sites and have technically overseen their implementation.

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