Construction set to begin on transfer station

By Sarah Pridgeon

Sundance’s new transfer station will be operational by July 2013, weather permitting, and is to be phased in over the remainder of the year. The bidding process for construction of the station is underway, with work set to begin at the end of October.

“Depending on the winter, ideally we would like to see all the concrete work completed before the weather gets too cold,” says Larry Schommer, Public Works Director. “We can then work on the metal fabrication over the winter and begin construction of the scales in the spring.”

Bids for construction will be due at City Hall on October 2 and reviewed by Trihydro, City Engineers, by October 9 with the contract awarded the next day. The notice to proceed will be issued on October 15 and work is expected to begin on October 20.

Once the station is complete, trash is expected be hauled by private contractors to either Moorcroft or Belle Fourche, says Schommer. Any change in fees for hauling residents’ trash will be determined once the destination and haulers have been finalized.

“We don’t want to change the cost for residents,” explains Schommer. “We’re not out to make money, the transfer station just needs to sustain itself. We’ll be working on a cost analysis.”

Recycling will be a key factor in maintaining costs. As well as keeping a significant percentage of trash out of the station, it’s the cheaper alternative.

“We’ll be making a bigger effort in recycling, particularly with public involvement and marketing,” says Schommer. “We’ll be looking to expand on what can be recycled. That we have mandatory recycling shows we’re making a great effort to reduce trash in the landfill – that opens more funding doors for us down the road. We’re one step ahead of the state with this, as legislation for mandatory recycling is just now coming down the pipeline.”

Once a haulage contract is in place, a plan will be  devised to bring a certain amount of trash to the station, slowly phasing it in and the landfill out until 2014. The landfill will, however, remain permitted for construction waste indefinitely.

“People in town won’t notice much of a change, we’ll still be picking up their trash,” comments Schommer. “The difference they’ll see will be when bringing bigger items to be trashed, because now they’ll be bringing them inside the building instead of taking them to the pit itself. Inside the building will be a lot less windy, muddy and smelly.”

Work is also in progress to allow composting of dead animals outside the transfer station, in the landfill area. “We would like to set up more yard waste sites in town to help with that, and also to prevent that yard waste going into the transfer station,” says Schommer.

On a final note, residents placing their garbage in bags will be very important to the success of the transfer station. “It’ll be key for it to be bagged for when we’re dumping it in the truck and onto the floor of the station, to be pushed into the trailer,” Schommer explains.