solid waste

June 11, 2024

Join SCS Engineers at the 2024 Connecticut DEEP State Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) Meeting on June 25th from 9:30 to 11:30 am at DEEP Headquarters.  For those who cannot attend in person, you can join via Zoom by registering here!

SCS Engineer Greg McCarron will be presenting at this event. The SWAC plays a vital role in the successful implementation of Connecticut’s solid waste management plan. The committee’s responsibilities include assisting the Department in executing the plan, identifying emerging issues and proposing solutions, and participating in necessary revisions to the plan. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with industry leaders and contribute to the future of waste management in Connecticut!

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 11:08 am

June 11, 2024

Join SCS Engineers at the 2024 SWANA FL Summer Conference, the premier solid waste conference and tradeshow in the Southeast, from July 14-16 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, FL. This event offers a unique opportunity to network with top professionals in the solid waste industry, earn continuing education hours, and experience the vibrancy of International Drive.

The conference agenda will feature engaging sessions and speakers who will discuss the latest advancements in solid waste management. Industry suppliers and service providers will have the chance to showcase their products and services. Don’t miss out on this chance to connect, learn, and grow in your profession. Mark your calendars and register today to join us at Synergy 2024: Uniting to Advance Florida Resource Management!

Several of our professionals are presenting, including:

Laila Al-KhalafStephen Townsend

Laila Al-Khalaf  Stephen Townsend

Surface and Subsurface Landfills Fires
Tuesday, July 16, 1:00 -3:00 pm, Location: Ballroom B

Kayla OuelletteKayla Ouellette

GIS Technology for Landfills
Tuesday, July 16, 3:30-5:00 pm, Location: Ballroom B

Register today!

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 10:48 am

April 16, 2024

Join SCS Engineers at the Federation of New York Solid Waste Conference with Trade Show, hosted at the luxurious Sagamore Resort in Bolton’s Landing, New York. The 2024 program will put a spotlight on responding to climate change (with topics such as renewable natural gas and electric vehicles) and also feature per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination as a focus area. Attendees can look forward to two and a half days of presentations by industry thought leaders, over 75 technical sessions, an educational trade show, and exciting recreational activities. This event is renowned in the industry for its unique networking opportunities, such as horseback riding, tennis, golf, fishing, and hiking tours.

Don’t miss out! Register today for this exciting event!

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 9:02 pm

April 5, 2024

Join SCS experts at the SWANA NJ Spring Conference, hosted at the Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  SCS is a proud exhibitor at an event dedicated to bringing together leaders and organizations from across the solid waste and recycling industries for a two-day opportunity to share information, discuss current challenges, and spur ideas for the future. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with industry peers and learn important updates on issues affecting the solid waste industry.

Register today to catch up with SCS experts Eric Peterson, PE, and Scott Schoffner!

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 9:51 am

February 8, 2024

SCS Engineers is an exhibitor of the SWANA- Georgia Chapter 2024 Spring Conference at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA, March 18 – 20.

The conference will have informative technical sessions with continuing education opportunities, a vendor trade show, a golf tournament, a fun run, a trail maintenance service project, a Young Professionals axe throwing event, a Membership Networking Event, a clay shooting event (“Buzzard Shoot”) and a Casino Night reception for all to enjoy.

Click here for schedule, registration, and other conference details. See you there!

 

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 10:46 am

January 29, 2024

Join SCS Engineers professionals, including our National Landfill Expert, Betsy Powers, for the Solid Waste Landfill Design Course, April 1-3 at the Pyle Center in Madison, WI.

During the course you will have the opportunity to learn about the critical factors of solid waste landfill design, operations, evolving industry issues, and economics. Learn from expert and diverse course faculty (top-flight researchers, owners at the cutting edge of evolving practice, industry experts). Get a firm grasp of the background and design specifics to compete in this industry, including industry-leading information on the principles and practices of solid waste landfill development, design, construction, operations, and management. Understand practical emerging technologies including:

  • Financial Management of Solid Waste Systems and Airspace Management
  • Polymer-Based Bentonite Composites in Geosynthetic Clay Liners
  • Landfill Gas Containment and Management for Emission Control and Regulatory Drivers
  • Value-Added Design of Gas-to-Energy and Gas-to-Fuel Projects
  • Waste Relocation and Expansion
  • Evolving Issues with “Hot” Landfills
  • The Latest in Geosynthetic Products for Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Performance-Based and Life Cycle-Based Design 
Betsy Powers landfill design course
Betsy Powers, PE, SCS Engineers

Senior Project Manager/Civil Engineer, Betsy Powers will be presenting on Landfill Drainage and Runoff Control including, runoff amounts,
open channel flow and culverts, and sedimentation/detention basins

This course will guide you through the development process of a successful solid waste landfill, from cradle to grave. Industry experts will share critical factors and insights. Interactive discussion and idea exchange will be emphasized. Click to learn more and enroll today.

 

 

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 9:35 am

January 29, 2024

Meet SCS Engineers professionals at the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations (ISOSWO)’s Spring Conference, March 14 – 15, at the Rock Island Inn & Suites in Marshalltown, Iowa.

The conference will feature networking opportunities, tours, exhibits, and educational sessions.

Click for more details and registration information

 

 

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 8:58 am

July 30, 2021

ryan duckett
production line for the processing of plastic waste in the factory

The engineer in Ryan Duckett tends to want to build the biggest, most top-of-the-line waste and recycling facilities whenever he can, but always what is practical for his clients. SCS’s mission states that employees adopt our clients’ environmental challenges as our own, and that includes their budgets and social goals as well.

“I appreciate that the waste management enterprises I work with are businesses and care about more than the engineering of a project. They care about the economics, and they look for guidance in both realms to get maximum value and efficiency,” says Duckett, who came to SCS Engineers as a new environmental engineering graduate. Then he went back to school for his MBA. He wanted to join both the technical and financial puzzle pieces.

“Everyone, especially local governments, is constrained by tight budgets. You have to think about the interplay between design and construction and financial feasibility,” he says.

That’s his job – to plan technically sound programs and facilities, whether new builds, upgrades, or changes in operations or services. Or it can be developing protocols for clients to tap into low-carbon fuel credits.

He’s learned to look through both developers’ and operators’ eyes to help clients accomplish what they want at budget levels they set while maximizing what they get from their programs, facilities, and systems.

“You need to make assessments and quantify details to answer questions like, what would an operator have to charge for a given service to break even? Is this service fee reasonable given market conditions? What are estimated operational costs and capital costs for an expansion? Financial analysts vet these questions, but very few of them are intimately involved in solid waste practices or engineering,” Duckett says.

 

A holistic approach in play

He calls the work he does integrated solid waste management, which involves understanding the entire operation and how one component affects the other, whether routing and collections, materials recovery facilities (MRFs), transfer stations, landfill gas systems, or others.

Duckett shows this holistic approach in play by explaining how grasping the way collections work helps design transfer stations. These major builds can run up to multimillions, even when project managers have the skill set and foresight to plan for efficiency and sustainability.

“You can better estimate how to design queuing space, how to design surge capacity, how to size facilities,” he explains.

“Adding, for example, an extra day’s storage capacity at a transfer station or MRF provides extra flexibility in the event of a disruption farther down the line. In an emergency, owners could potentially save significantly by having more time to identify or negotiate more economical alternatives.”

Some of the solutions he finds are simple but require thinking out of the box—literally in one situation where cardboard boxes were stockpiling at a convenience center because they didn’t fit through the slot in a single-stream receptacle. Simply creating an acceptance area only for boxes diverts multiple truckloads a week from landfills and generates thousands a year in revenue.

Then there are the major construction projects where Duckett digs deeper, such as one plan to site, design, and build a MRF. He conducted a feasibility study looking at different sites and calculated estimated operational costs and upfront capital costs for each identified site.

“We ultimately determined that by co-locating a facility at the existing landfill, the client would save over $200,000 in operating costs, with savings from scales/scale house reuse, the reduced distance of residual stream hauling, labor efficiencies, and other areas.”

In this same scenario, adding robotics for additional processing comes with anticipated savings of about $300,000 in manual sorting costs annually.

 

When do you recommend spending more upfront?

This question often comes up in Duckett’s world.

He finds that sometimes spending more upfront and on what’s built to last translates to substantial savings in the long run. He reflects on when a client had to replace a transfer station floor every couple of years.

“These floors take so much impact, so this is not an uncommon problem. But you can provide a huge ROI by reducing floor replacement frequency. They can run over half a million to replace properly, even for relatively small facilities,” Duckett says.

He ran budget numbers for different approaches and found in this scenario the higher-end approach, cement with additives such as fly ash, was the better deal.

“It might cost 50 percent more upfront, but the floor could last three times as long, breaking the cycle of frequent, costly replacement,” he says.

 

What do you recommend when budgets are so tight, there’s no cash reserve to invest?

Duckett and his team have found solutions in this scenario, too; often, the strategy is to figure out if a phased approach is possible.

“You could spend ten years waiting to generate enough funds to build infrastructure for a major project. Your citizens are missing out, so sometimes it’s best to build smaller, as soon as you need it. Then increase capacity as you can afford it.”

 

Expert advice from his colleagues

A very positive thing about his holistic approach is that Duckett can reach out to his colleagues who specialize in long-term financial management plans for utilities such as solid waste. This team, led by Vita Quinn, specializes in helping clients build sustainable financing models and plans.

The models help communities manage financial impacts such as COVID disruptions; make investments without burdening community budgets, and help take advantage of commodity market swings such as in the value of recycled paper. Models are useful to show community leaders and citizens the different options and what-if scenarios that make sense based on current and future conditions.

 

Going back to the drawing board to improve a system

Not long ago, Duckett’s team had to figure out what to do about a decal-based, pay-as-you-throw system that wasn’t working. The operator’s initial plan seemed logical and simple: residents purchase decals and place them on their bins for pick up. But some of them let their subscriptions expire. The city was losing money servicing outstanding accounts. It hired enforcement officers to check every decal for validity, which soon proved too labor-intensive.

“We found an alternative: adding fees for trash and recycling to the water and sewer bill. It’s bringing in more revenue. And the city is saving on hours spent checking thousands of decals, freeing the enforcement officers for other jobs, like bulky and yard waste enforcement,” Duckett says.

 

Duckett’s greatest lessons learned?

“In my seven years on the job, I have learned that the solid waste industry is complicated with a lot of intricate, moving parts that interconnect. Who would have thought trash was so complex?”

He’s also learned it’s critical to have comprehensive teams with diverse backgrounds to gather different perspectives.

“It goes back to the concept that you need more than engineering expertise to deliver that value add. That value add is important to our customers, so we strive to understand the business challenge along with the technical and social goals.”

Speaking as a young professional to other young professionals and students thinking about careers in waste management, he says: Check it out. Give it serious thought.

“I do not know of another industry that involves so many interesting disciplines: biology, hydrology, geology, engineering … even data and computer scientists.”

He shares this proposition for the young and ambitious:

“As technology advances and regulatory requirements heighten, our teams learn a lot on the job. But we appreciate our sharp graduates who bring the latest knowledge from academic settings. We depend on them to share new ways of thinking and help us solve challenging and intriguing problems.”

His motivation to get into environmental engineering evolved from his passion for the outdoors.

“I grew to appreciate conservation, which centers on doing more with less to preserve resources. Nothing is wasted in nature; everything is cyclical and gets used,” Duckett says.

“That’s what our waste system could emulate, and as a nation, we’re moving in that direction. It’s not just about reducing trash. It’s about reducing wasted effort and money spent beyond what’s necessary. It goes back to the idea of efficiency and getting the most out of something – instead of a using-disposing-buying new mentality.”

 

Learn more about comprehensive MRF and Transfer Station infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

October 26, 2020

yakima county solid waste
Congratulations to the Yakima County Solid Waste Division employees from your friends at SCS – your video rocks!

 

Yakima County, WA, won the Heroes Excellence award from the American Public Works Association. Karma Suchan, Solid Waste Manager, generously shared the news and acceptance video with John Richards in the Northwest Business Unit.

Click to watch: Yakima County Solid Waste Rocks the APWA Heroes Excellence Award

The County was nominated for its perseverance and excellent customer service during the pandemic while experiencing record-setting customer counts, tonnage, wildfires, and poor air quality conditions.

Now that’s dedication!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

September 10, 2019

Proposed Amendments to the Coal Ash Regulations, Public Hearing Registration Open 

EPA is proposing further amendments to the regulations governing the disposal of coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash.

The proposal addresses two issues remanded by the courts back to EPA for action. EPA is proposing a modification to one of the criteria used to determine if coal ash is being beneficially used or would be considered disposal. The second proposed change is to the requirements for managing piles of coal ash. Other proposed changes include revisions to enhance public access to information.

In addition to accepting written comments on this proposal, EPA is holding two public hearings – one in person in Arlington, Virginia on October 2, 2019, and a second one that will be held virtually.

To learn more about this proposal and the public hearings, learn how to comment and register to speak or observe, visit: https://www.epa.gov/coalash/coal-ash-rule#July2019proposal.

 

Upcoming e-Manifest Fiscal Years 2020-2021 User Fees

EPA announced the new e-Manifest user fees for fiscal years 2020-2021 (October 1, 2019-September 30, 2021). These user fees are set based on the manifest usage and processing costs for each manifest type.

EPA encourages the hazardous waste industry to adopt fully-electronic manifesting as soon as possible so that industry members can take maximum advantage of the benefits and cost savings of electronic manifesting. However, EPA acknowledges that it will take time for industries and receiving facilities to fully transition to electronic manifests. EPA supports the wide adoption of electronic manifesting by the regulated community as soon as it is feasible.

For more information and to view the new user fees, visit https://www.epa.gov/e-manifest/e-manifest-user-fees-and-payment-information#2020fees.

 

Comment Period Open for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) 108(b) Electric Power Industry Proposal 

EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed rule not imposing financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA Section 108(b) for Electric Power Generation, Transportation, and Distribution facilities.

The comment period for the proposed changes is open for 60 days, through September 27, 2019. To learn more, view the proposal, and how to submit comments visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/proposed-action-financial-responsibility-requirements-under-cercla-section-108b-classes.

 

Incremental Sampling Methodology (ISM) at PCB Cleanup Sites

ISM has been shown to be a valid and effective method for determining the concentrations of contaminants, including PCBs, in heterogeneous soils when designed appropriately. This document has a brief description of ISM and provides EPA’s policy of reviewing and approving site-specific applications to use ISM at PCB cleanup sites: https://www.epa.gov/pcbs/incremental-sampling-methodology-ism-pcb-cleanup-sites.

 

New and Updated Pharmaceutical Frequent Questions Posted

EPA recently updated several frequent questions about the final rule establishing management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and amending the P075 listing for nicotine. Additionally, EPA added a section about the sewer ban, which was effective August 21, 2019.

Check out the frequent questions out here: https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/frequent-questions-about-management-standards-hazardous-waste-pharmaceuticals-and.

 

Use these EPA resources to learn more, or contact SCS at and we’ll help answer your questions.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am