Services to Match Your Project
SWA is a leading firm in providing HHW/VSQG collection System Analysis. HHW collection programs often call for system analyses when transitioning from temporary collection events to permanent collection facilities, as well as by permanent programs that want an outside unbiased party to take a fresh look at their infrastructure and operations. Systems Analysis can be performed on a local or statewide basis. Goals of Systems Analysis often encompass:
Evaluating the effectiveness in serving all customers,
Examination of the overall efficiency and safety of the operations,
Evaluating compliance with permit conditions,
Evaluating consistency with operations and safety plans, and
Identifying strategic opportunities to improve the existing or expand the collection system.
Because SWA has extensive experience in visiting and reviewing operations across North America, it leverages that broad knowledge of facility design, operating practices, equipment performance, and innovation to evaluate your collection program and provide you with highly-focused recommendations for collection system improvement.
Piles drive through waste layer to supporting undisturbed soils.
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC)
Performed on-site evaluations of all four jurisdictions with permanent HHW collection facilities in Tennessee. Assessed facility design, equipment, and operations relative to industry standards and best practices. Interviewed operating personnel on-site, observed operation procedures and equipment use, and compared operations plans for consistency with actual practice. Site reports were prepared for each collection facility including unique recommendations for each facility.
"As TDEC has increased emphasis on safety with both permanent and temporary HHW operations, we saw a need to evaluate safety and operational procedures, facilities, and equipment operation at these locations. TDEC contracted with Special Waste Associates, a company with extensive experience in HHW facilities across the US, to evaluate our facilities. Following the evaluation of the four permanent sites, Special Waste Associates provided detailed reports of improvements that would enhance both operational and safety conditions at the permanent sites. Armed with these recommendations, TDEC offered $1,000,000 in grants for facility upgrades to mitigate the identified problems."
Safety Planning - Facilitating Tennessee's Culture Change, TDEC 2018.
Sonoma County expanded this side of their their permanent HHW collection facility based on SWA recommendations.
Sonoma County, CA
SWA partnered with Sweetser and Associates to evaluate the county-wide patterns of use of the existing permanent collection facility, collection events, and shut-in pick up services to determine levels of service across the county.
An assessment was conducted of potential sites for future permanent or satellite collection infrastructure to serve the entire county more evenly. Recommendations were made for expanding the current facility as well as establishing new permanent collection sites.
Some significant recommendations have been fully implemented, others are still under consideration including further expansion of the HHW collection infrastructure.
Customer service data from curbside collection and collection events was combined with the permanent facility to determine distribution of service in the County.
Boulder County staff testing the logistics and spacing of the conceptual design at full scale.
Customer service and queuing space was part of the operations evaluation.
Orange County, CA
With about a million households Orange County serves the second largest county population on the west coast, only behind Los Angeles County. SWA conducted a performance audit of Orange County's system of four permanent HHW collection facilities. This was done considering the county's four overarching goals for the program:
increase operational efficiency,
increase regulatory compliance, and
increase diversion of HHW from solid waste disposal.
Site visits were made to all four facilities during operating hours to examine actual operations and features such as facility design, contractor performance, duplication of activities, efficiency of materials flow, opportunities to improve ergonomics, reuse volumes, and normal operating practices.
Recommendations were provided for facility specialization, improved operating safety practices, environmental protection improvements, and increase emphasis on product reuse. Many of the recommendations have been implemented across the four permanent HHW collection facilities.
This facility built in the early 1990s was highly constrained by the available space shared with the adjacent transfer station.
This latex paint processing room was examined prior to its initial operation.
Portland Metro, OR
Metro was concerned about the ever-increasing use of their system and staff's ability to efficiently and safely handle the increasing amounts of waste.
The HHW collection system includes two permanent facilities and a latex paint recycling facility. The permanent facilities also provide a base for collection events throughout the Portland metro area.
Project objectives included:
comparing written operating practice to actual practices;
documenting the materials handling at each facility and materials transfer between facilities;
documenting limiting operating constraints due to sites conditions, physical features, and operating practices; and
evaluating regulatory compliance.
Recommendations included improvements to:
reduce potential exposure to chemicals and repetitive motions,
practices for the safe use of storage racks,
enhance ventilation system,
revise material handling practices, and
other efficiency and safety recommendations.