Thursday, 25 January 2018 05:15

City buying compactor to increase lifespan of landfill

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The City of Swift Current is purchasing a used landfill compactor to increase the lifespan of the East landfill.


Councillors approved the purchase of a 2014 Caterpillar 816F Series II landfill compactor at a price of $320,000 plus taxes during a regular council meeting, Jan. 15.
The City is currently using a bulldozer to do the compaction, but a 2016 audit of the landfill by the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment determined that the density of compaction does not meet the requirements of the municipal refuse management regulations.
Mitch Minken, the City of Swift Current's general manager of infrastructure and operations, said the City has to comply with the audit findings to avoid a fine and to retain the permit to operate the landfill.
“Sask. Environment has been doing landfill audits over the last while in response to the new regulations that came out in 2011,” he explained. “So they’ve been coming around to various landfills around the province looking at the operations and it just happened that it was our time to get audited. That was one of the recommendations that came out of that audit that we needed to improve our compaction.”
The purchase of a landfill compactor is not the only expense as a result of this audit. The flattening of the slope grade at the East landfill and improvements to the stormwater and leachate pond will also be done to comply with regulatory requirements.
“Our new compaction methods with this unit versus the old one will allow us to be able to compact the refuse much denser,” he said. “So it will allow us to put much more in before we’re required to put a layer of dirt cover on. So it will save us a lot of time and a lot of airspace. It will make our landfill last much longer.”
It is expected that the use of a landfill compactor to achieve higher waste density will increase the life expectancy of the East landfill with five to 10 years. The City decided to purchase a used compactor because the price of a new unit is too high.
“The size of our landfill and the amount of time that we use a compactor there, actually led us to believe we’re better off to buy a used piece of equipment rather than a brand-new piece of equipment and be much more economical for the City,” he said.
The City already included the funding for the purchase of a landfill compactor in the 2017 budget, but the selection committee was unable to find a suitable unit.
“The demand for used units is high,” he said. “So it took some time for us to be able to find an appropriate used unit that made sense for the City of Swift Current. Luckily towards the end of the year we were able to secure one that’s in very good shape.”
This unit, which has been used for 7,900 hours, has passed a detailed inspection and it will be refurbished to replace some minor items due to normal wear during use.
“The local Finning Caterpillar dealership will be providing the maintenance on a service contract for us,” he said. “So we’re quite happy with where we ended up.”
City to purchase asphalt reclamation equipment:
Councillors approved the purchase of asphalt reclamation equipment that will make it easier to grind up gravel and asphalt to rebuild road surfaces.
The City will purchase a demonstration unit of the Asphalt Zipper, which is distributed in Saskatchewan by Triple S Industries of Outlook, at a price of $225,987.65 plus PST. This particular unit has only been used for 10.3 hours.
“This is a brand-new concept that we’ll be employing,” Minken said. “You’re seeing a lot more of this piece of equipment being used on the highways. It's basically a shredder. It just chews up the existing asphalt and then that asphalt millings can be reused.”
This material can also be used for dust control on gravel roads and the Asphalt Zipper is a more cost-effective way to recycle asphalt. At the moment it takes more time to remove asphalt. It is hammered out and then hauled away to be crushed before it can be re-used.
“So this is a much more cost-effective way,” he said. “You take it off as millings and away you go. This is going to be a real good piece of equipment for us in helping some of our road maintenance.”
In addition, the machine will be useful when there is a water main break, when it will be used to mill out the pavement to save time.
“Particularly in winter time, when we have to expose a water break, this machine can rip it out frozen,” he said. “Now we would be in a real bind, trying to break it up with a hammer on the end of a hoe and try and get it bust up. This will just rip through and mill it out.”
Rate increases at Chinook golf course:
There will be some rate increases at the Chinook golf course in 2018. Council members approved the golf course rates at the Jan. 15 council meeting.
According to Dean Robson, the City’s general manager of community services, the rates are competitive with other golf courses.
“In comparison to other municipal golf courses our season passes are below average and our green fees are average,” he said. “Weekend green fees are the major revenue provider for the Chinook golf course, not season memberships or tournament revenue. As a result, we are very accommodating to green fee players, but are more dependent on good weather.”
There will be no increase in green fees for 2018, while the fees for passes will only increase in three categories. The price of a season pass, restricted season pass for weekdays, and a couple pass will increase about three per cent.
There will also be a slight increase of about two per cent or less in some categories of cart rental.
These fee increases in selected categories and good weather conditions during the 2018 season should result in a budget surplus for the Chinook golf course.
“The Community Services Division, on the direction from council, has always believed that the Chinook golf course should neither burden the taxpayer nor be so unaffordable that the average citizen cannot participate,” he said. “The Chinook golf course has traditionally budgeted for revenues to be equal to or slightly above operational costs.”

Read 285 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 January 2018 11:05
Matthew Liebenberg

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