We provide a broad-spectrum of planning service ranging from feasibility studies to solid waste and recycling management plans. Throughout the planning process we take care to always consider the entire system, address all users’ needs, and ensure future flexibility. With this in mind, we concentrate on understanding the realities of the present system and its history, while integrating this with the client’s and user’s future needs. This approach results in plans that are easy to implement and solid waste systems that address present and future challenges.
System Assessments and Rate Studies
Many of our projects encompass assessing solid waste systems at various intervals throughout their lifetime. An assessment during the initial planning stage is important to establish the system’s operational functions and determine its projected effectiveness. As a system ages, it is valuable to reassess the operation to determine its efficiency and reliability. We employ a variety of techniques – from observation to computer modeling – when we conduct these analyses and find that these assessments provide our clients with invaluable information for use in refining the operation of their solid waste systems.
Our clients often find that conducting a rate study along with assessing their solid waste system provides them a more complete picture of their operation. Funding a solid waste system is dependent upon a realistic and equitable rate structure. These rate structures require regular and detailed evaluation to ensure the system is not under funded. We have developed models that provide both the flexibility and accuracy needed to identify realistic and defendable rate structures.
Market and Waste Shed Analyses
It is imperative that organizations understand their service areas and waste sheds. Many solid waste systems fail because a clear and concise picture of the service area and its characteristics was not established. We utilize unique mapping techniques and demographic analyses to develop data, charts and graphics for our clients so they can more easily understand their markets and waste sheds. With a comprehensive understanding of their service areas, end users, and waste sheds, our clients have the tools they need to efficiently implement and operate solid waste systems.
Routing and Pay-As-You Throw Analyses
As organizations strive to provide cost-effective solid waste services, they are increasingly evaluating their routing efficiencies and new methods of service implementation. We develop programs to aid our clients in these efforts. These programs assess the present collection system and routing and then analyze a variety of possible changes and scenarios. Using these assessments and analyses we then establish efficient and effective routing systems.
When evaluating new methods of service implementation we are often asked to assess possible Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) systems. While there is a wealth of knowledge on the subject of PAYT systems, empirical and objective data on the matter is limited. We provide clarity on the pros and cons of PAYT as a system and in specific communities.
ES&D’s expertise includes state-of-the-art designs for a variety of solid waste facilities including landfills, transfer stations, material recovery facilities, convenience centers, final landfill covers, and landfill gas systems. Utilizing the latest technologies available we provide comprehensive design solutions for our clients.
Our experience encompasses the siting, permitting, and design of more than 30 landfills primarily located throughout the Midwest and Southwest. Our landfill designs incorporate specific cell designs with overall site development options and consider all the technical and environmental aspects of responsible facility operation.
Transfer Stations and Material Recovery Facilities
We begin our transfer station and material recovery facility designs by developing three-dimensional drawings that graphically depict the facility site, structures, and equipment. These drawings are refined throughout the design process to provide our clients with a visual perspective of the facility and an understanding of how the facility’s elements integrate. This design approach facilitates unparalleled flexibility throughout the design, which allows us to quickly identify the optimal site, building, and equipment configurations.
Final Cover Systems
Well-designed alternative final cover systems can provide far-reaching benefits for landfill owners and operators. ES&D developed the first alternative final landfill cover allowed in the State of Kansas. Since then, we have focused on further improving and refining our alternative final cover designs. Our designs incorporate capillary barriers, evapotranspiration, and liquid transfer as well as synthetic materials. When approaching a final cover design we consider specifics of the site, ease of installation, long-term maintenance obstacles, monitoring requirements, and cost.
ES&D’s construction oversight programs focus on concise project tracking and documentation. This process begins in the early stages of a project where we develop functional designs and succinct project specifications; this then follows through the bidding and construction phases. When in the field, we stress the necessity of noting every activity at the site and preparing accurate documentation. Our inspectors and engineers are trained to recognize problems or irregularities throughout the construction process and understand that site conditions may require engineering changes. We employ quality control measures that ensure the project meets all engineering standards and foster a positive relationship with the project’s construction contractor. Our professionalism throughout the construction process allows the project to progress to successful conclusion.
Waste Characterization Studies
ES&D’s waste characterization and waste auditing experience encompass a wide variety of services. The characterization studies we successfully design and undertake may encompass a single community, a single county, multiple counties and/or entire states. Our most recently conducted waste audit included office buildings and a cafeteria facility on the campus of one of our nation’s preeminent national laboratories. Our unparalleled experience provides us with the expertise to safely conduct sampling and sorting activities, accurately gather and analyze data, and concisely present all this information in a format that is easy to use and understand.
We design characterization and audit studies that consider and address the uniqueness of each client. During the study design process we establish cooperative working relationships among all participants. We visit each participating facility and ascertain the least intrusive area for our field activities. We also identify each facility’s daily waste flow and then use this information to determine our target number of field samples. Our thorough study designs ensure our success in gathering precise data, which results in a wide range of possible data analyses and accurate, usable databases.
Field Activities and Data Analyses
From our years of characterization experience and breadth of solid waste knowledge, we have developed proprietary field sorting and data analysis programs. We take pride in our ability to conduct these activities in a comprehensive, safe, and efficient manner. In addition, we employ stringent quality control standards throughout our characterization and auditing projects. Our proprietary programs and strict quality control measures allow us to easily develop statistically-valid sample databases.
Data Application and Training
A wealth of information is generated when we conduct a waste characterization study or undertake a waste audit. We provide our clients with all of the data, concise analyses, and numerous data application methods which allow them to easily understand their waste streams. In concert with this information we conduct follow-up training sessions that clearly demonstrate the many uses and benefits of the characterization or audit data, analyses, and conclusions.