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Huge Bomag Compactor Helps N.J. County Pack in the Trash

Tue June 10, 2008 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) recently purchased the first Bomag BC1172RB refuse compactor in the state of New Jersey to help increase its refuse compaction capabilities and extend the life of its landfill.

Today, landfill facilities remain a primary method of refuse disposal for counties. They require high performance compactors to ensure that refuse is compacted at the highest possible density. Achieving the highest possible density improves the overall running surface of the landfill and decreases the possibility of fire from spontaneous combustion and gas emissions as well as water penetration. Improving the density also reduces air voids which increase the overall capacity of the landfill.

Opened in 1984, the Cape May County landfill, a 420-acre facility, handles garbage disposal throughout Cape May County. Located near the New Jersey coast, the Cape May landfill handles construction/demolition and marine debris such as dock pilings, large timbers and telephone poles. The facility handles on average, 6,000 tons (5,443 t) of waste a day in the winter and doubles its intake in the summer.

The Cape May facility also serves as a recycling center for wood such as skids, trees and stumps, which are processed into mulch. It also screens its own topsoil, which is sold to local landscapers and contractors along with the recycled mulch. In addition to wood and topsoil recycling, Cape May MUA handles e-waste recycling, which is the recycling of computers, computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic devices.

The landfill also is a source of energy.

Cape May MUA designed and built a gas emissions pipeline throughout the landfill. The pipeline gathers the trapped gases created by the decomposing refuse. The collected gas travels to the facility through a series of pipes and is then processed into electricity. Cape May MUA produces enough electricity from the recycled gas to power its entire complex. It also transfers a portion of the gas to power a local school.

In the past, Cape May MUA required two refuse compactors to handle its daily waste deliveries and compaction needs.

“A few years ago the compactors were smaller, so our landfill required two of them. Now one machine is large enough and powerful enough to do the work of two,” said Richard Repici, senior equipment operator of Cape May County MUA.

The Bomag BC1172RB is the largest refuse compactor manufactured by Bomag. It stands 15.8 ft. high by 17 ft. wide (4.8 by 5 m) and weighs 120,000 lbs. (54,431 kg).

Cape May MUA and JESCO worked together researching Bomag refuse compactors prior to the purchase of the Bomag BC1172RB. JESCO invited 8 Cape May MUA employees to a Scranton, Pa., landfill. The Scranton landfill uses six Bomag refuse compactors including the Bomag BC 1172RB to manage its refuse.

“The trip to the Scranton facility was very informative,” said Glenn Senec, landfill supervisor of Cape May County MUA. “We were able to see the machines in action, test them out and ask the operators questions about how they handled various conditions at their facility.”

After the Scranton trip, JESCO, along with Bomag, delivered the BC1172RB to the Cape May landfill and coordinated a weeklong demo with Cape May MUA operators. Throughout the week, Repici and Senec conducted compaction studies and ran numerous tests to document the advantages of the BC1172RB over their current refuse compactor.

“We were not getting the compaction required from our current landfill compactor,” said Repici. “The Bomag BC1172RB has 72 teeth per wheel and weighs 120,000 pounds. Its static weight, along with the number of teeth per wheel, creates optimum compaction. It also has an outstanding two-wire cutting system for each wheel, which protects the wheels from wire wrap-arounds.”

Repici and Senec also conducted slope-grading tests with the BC11772RB to see if the compactor could handle the landfill’s steep inclines. Currently, the highest point of the landfill sits at 130 ft. (40 m). When finally capped, it will reach a height of 255 ft. (78 m).

“We have some major slopes to deal with. Our old refuse compactors are end-heavy, which makes them difficult to maneuver steep inclines [with],” said Repici. “The Bomag has more ground clearance and is built to handle difficult inclines. We also like how the air intake is located above the machine instead of in the back by the engine. This keeps it from getting clogged with debris when backing down steep slopes.”

The steep inclines and long hour workdays also require a powerful and durable engine. The BC1172RB boasts 598 hp (446 kW) with its Deutz diesel TCD 2015V08 water-cooled engine.

“You need a powerful compactor for this type of work and an engine that will handle a 10-hour workday,” said Senec. “We love the power of the engine and how quiet it is. And it doesn’t overheat. One of our older compactors’ engines would run so hot that it would overheat the entire machine. You couldn’t touch the exterior of the machine, not even the hand rails.”

Another key issue Cape May MUA looked into was the daily maintenance and serviceability of the BC1172RB.

“Serviceability and maintenance time is a very important factor,” continued Senec. “The BC1172RB sealed-tub design eliminates the need for belly pans and makes it easy to access drive components. Our mechanics are able to get into the guts of the machine fast. This creates minimal downtime, which is crucial to running a landfill.”

After completing numerous tests, it was clear to Cape May MUA that the BC1172RB could meet its landfill compaction needs and handle the Cape May landfill working conditions.

“I’m ecstatic to have such a great piece of equipment at our facility. It will undoubtedly increase our productivity,” said Repici. “We had a Bomag refuse compactor when the facility opened in 1984 and have liked their products ever since.”

JESCO delivered the new Bomag BC1172RB to the Cape May facility and coordinated a three-day training period with five Bomag product specialists and the Cape May MUA operators.

“JESCO went out of their way to ensure that this compactor was the best fit for our facility’s needs,” said Senec. “JESCO’s salesman, Gregg Swartz and service manager, Jim Pennell demonstrate great knowledge of their products and have worked closely with us throughout the buying process.”

In addition to the Bomag BC1172RB, Cape May MUA also purchased a John Deere 850J dozer and three John Deere 644J loaders from JESCO within the past year.

“We use the 850J to clean the face of the landfill, clear mud from our access road and pull trucks out of the mud when they get stuck,” said Repici.

The three John Deere 644J loaders handle the mulch and topsoil recycling process. They move large amounts of wood to a tub grinder where it is ground into various types of mulch. They also move large piles of dirt to a screener where it is processed into topsoil.

“The loaders are an excellent addition to our facility. They are powerful, fast and have proven themselves to be reliable,” said Senec.

For more information, call 800/241-7070 or visit

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