Town of Brookhaven, Evaluation of Conversion to Single Stream Collection and Processing

Posted on July 29, 2010

Client: Town of Brookhaven
Location: Brookhaven, NY
Project Type: Evaluation of Conversion to Single Stream Collection and Processing

Project Description

Evaluation of Conversion to Single Stream Collection and Processing

Town of Brookhaven Materials Recovery FacilityD&B conducted a comprehensive study of the costs and benefits of converting the Town’s collection and recycling program to single stream, with the potential accompanying conversion of all trash, bulk, and yard waste collections to semi-automated or fully automated service. A description of the evaluation of automated collection is presented in the following paragraph. These options were compared with maintaining the current manual collection service for the collection of single stream recyclables. In addition, the analysis also included the conversion of all collection vehicles to the use of Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) and compared that to the cost of operations using diesel fuel. In order to carry out the analysis, D&B constructed a Program Operations and Economic Model (“POEM”) that allowed the preparation of a highly detailed analysis that included all construction and operational costs and revenue impacts of converting and operating the MRF as a single stream facility, as well as all vehicle, labor, and collection productivity aspects of collections using manual, semi-automated, or automated collection, using diesel or CNG fuels. A literature search was conducted as the basis of projections of increases in recyclables collected, and decreases in trash collections, that would arise from a single stream program. The POEM was calibrated by achieving a prediction of current collection and recycling system costs within five (5) percent of actual. It was then utilized to model several different scenarios for collection of trash, recyclables, bulk, and yard waste in a single stream recycling system using manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment. The POEM was completed and the Report presented to the Town prior to the receipt of bids for Town-wide conversion to CNG fuel. Upon receipt of the bids, it was shown that the POEM has also predicted the collection fees within five (5) percent of the bids.

Evaluation of Automated Collection for Refuse, Recyclables, Yard Waste and Bulk Waste

D&B conducted a comprehensive assessment of the conversion to automated collection vehicles for municipal solid waste collection in the Town of Brookhaven. The assessment determined the feasibility of lowering costs as a result of factors including a reduction in the number of trucks used due to shorter stop times, and a reduction in the labor force required for collection operations. Additional costs related to routine maintenance for the hydraulics and mechanical systems were investigated. The cost of roll-out carts was determined. The replacement costs and availability of manufacturers’ 10-year warranties were evaluated for collection carts . The availability of a 50% New York State recycling grant for roll-out carts used for recyclables and yard waste was investigated. The study addressed the community education approaches necessary in order to educate residents on the advantages of an automated system. Education of residents regarding the proper set- out the carts with regard to spacing requirements, and of Drivers for operation of the new vehicles was addressed. Collection routes were assessed to ensure that full automation can be used. This included identification of limitations associated with narrow streets and the prevalence of on-street parking. Automated vehicles require room at curbside for the mechanical arm to maneuver on the ground and in the air space above the truck. Pick up locations were planned to avoid low tree branches and basketball hoops. The evaluation reviewed the potential use of tippers in combination with front-end loaders. This type of automated collection device helps in areas where space is limited. The cost of the front-end loaders with tippers was found to be comparable to automated side loading vehicles.

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