Trash yields #036;5.5 million investment

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

It was an empty cavern of steel and concrete on Thursday.

But within days, the Southeastern Public Service Authority’s new 18,000-square-foot transfer station at the agency’s landfill on the U.S. Route 58 Bypass will begin filling with the trash.

SPSA officials, joined by city leaders and a class of Driver Elementary School science students, cut the ribbon on the new $5.5 million transfer station Thursday.

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When operating at full capacity, the station will be capable of processing 500 tons of trash a day-the equivalent of 22 tractor-trailer trucks, said Transfer Station Superintendent Jeff Harbin.

The transfer station will do much to extend the life of the agency’s regional landfill, said SPSA Executive Director John S. Hadfield.

Most solid waste brought to SPSA used to be dumped in the landfill, he said.

Now trucks will dump the trash inside the transfer station, where six SPSA employees will sort it into three sections: recyclables, processables and non-processables.

Items deemed suitable for incineration are taken to SPSA’s refuse-derived fuel plant in Portsmouth, he said. Non-processable trash is taken into the landfill for disposal.

&uot;The station is going to allow us to capture a good amount of waste that is currently going to the landfill,&uot; Harbin said.

It will also be advantageous for city vehicles that normally have to travel through the landfill, Hadfield added.

&uot;It will keep the smaller vehicles out of the landfill,&uot; he said. &uot;There’s lots of heavy equipment there but it’s not as safe for smaller vehicles as we would like it to be.&uot;

The station will be available

from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for Hampton Roads residents to drop off their household trash.