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Refuse Compactor Extends Life of Salem County Landfill

Fri May 22, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Salem County Improvement Authority (SCIA) recently purchased its first Bomag BC1172RB-2 refuse compactor from JESCO to help increase its refuse compaction and extend the life of the landfill.

Opening in 1988, the SCIA landfill, a 250-acre facility, handles garbage disposal throughout Salem County. The landfill handles construction/demolition debris, railroad ties and municipal solid waste. The facility handles on average, 500 to 600 tons (454 to 544 t) of waste per day, while generating electricity through its methane gas generation system and pipeline.

In conjunction with its energy company, SCIA is converting the methane gas from its landfill into electricity through a 1.9 megawatt generator. It will be transferring excess methane gas to the nearby Salem County Community College building to use instead of propane for decorative and scientific glass blowing.

It also promotes numerous recycling programs and is an advocate of the 3 R’s, which are, 1. Recycle by turning trash into treasure, 2. Reuse to conserve our natural resources and 3. Reduce to save landfill space.

“Landfill space is very valuable,” said Melinda J. Williams, assistant director/SCIA/Solid Waste Division and Salem County Recycling, Clean Communities & Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator. “Our goal is to recycle as much material as possible to keep it out of our landfill.”

Saving space is a goal for every landfill. Since landfill facilities remain the primary method of refuse disposal for counties, they require the most efficient refuse compaction possible. By achieving the best refuse density, landfills are able to reduce air voids and increase the overall capacity of the landfill.

To maximize its use of space, the SCIA inspects each truckload of trash entering its facility to ensure that it contains no recyclables. If recyclables of any kind are in the load, they are removed. SCIA also found that using the right piece of refuse equipment can increase its landfill space and lifespan.

SCIA contacted JESCO, its local Bomag dealer and worked with them to research the appropriate Bomag refuse compactor for the site. Prior to the purchase of the Bomag BC1172RB-2, SCIA visited a nearby facility that uses this piece of equipment, the Cape May MUA, and also planned a trip to a landfill facility located in Broome County, N.Y., to see the compactor in action.

“These trips were very informative,” said Lynn Schmidt, site supervisor for the SCIA. “We were able to test the Bomag ourselves and ask the operators questions about the machine.”

While visiting the Broome County facility, SCIA got to see first hand how Bomag’s GeoLogic GPS System worked. The GeoLogic GPS Landfill System allows the operator to monitor compaction and their wheel track coverage. In addition, the system alerts the operator when compaction is complete.

“You don’t want to over compact the trash,” said Dave Cobb, assistant site supervisor of the SCIA. “Over compacting will lead to fluff. Fluff is when the trash starts to become loose again. This is a big problem because you increase air voids again and have loose trash that will blow around.”

Not only does SCIA plan on using the GPS system for meeting its compaction needs, but it also plans to use it for a variety of other things.

“This system will allow us to track where things are in the landfill,” said Cobb. “For instance, if we have a load of asbestos dumped, we can mark it with the GPS unit. This information is then sent to our office computers and kept on record.”

“It’s very important to map out the entire site and to know where everything is,” said Schmidt. “If we need to drill a hole for our methane gas pipeline, we need to know what we are going to hit. We don’t want the guys drilling through asbestos and having that come out of the hole. We also can use this GPS to determine our grades and slopes, plot the next cell and to track what’s being dumped in each cell.”

At the Cape May MUA facility, SCIA was able to compare the Bomag compactor to other refuse compactors.

“I put in numerous hours researching our next compactor,” said Cobb. “Nothing beats a side-by-side demo. Both Bomag and JESCO went above and beyond to help us.”

“Purchasing a new piece of equipment can take a lot of research and negotiation,” said Williams. “JESCO was very informative and professional throughout the entire process.”

The Bomag BC1172RB-2 is the largest refuse compactor manufactured by Bomag. Its dimensions of 15 ft. 8 in. (4.8 m) high by 17 ft. (5.2 m) wide, weight of 120,000 lbs. (54,431 kg) and 72 teeth per wheel give it the size and static weight required to move and compact refuse productively.

“I can actually see the tire tracks in the trash with the Bomag,” said Robert Norton, a SCIA machine operator. “It’s a huge benefit to know where you’ve compacted. I also can pack twice as much in less time compared to the other compactors we have.”

The 72 teeth per wheel give the Bomag compactor added traction on slopes.

“We have a 3 to 1 slope and currently, our landfill is at 125 feet high. It will grow to 155 feet high within the next few years,” said Norton. “The Bomag has no problem compacting vertically or horizontally. There is zero slippage with this machine.”

The Bomag BC1172RB-2 boasts 598 hp (446 kW) with its Deutz diesel TCD 2015V08 water-cooled engine.

“This machine has plenty of power,” continued Norton. “I was able to push two tractor trailer loads and three roll-off loads all at once.”

The operators’ station offers all-around visibility, heated and air-suspended seat, easy-to-view control panel, joystick steering control, a load sensing system that provides smooth joystick and blade control and the lowest cab noise levels in the industry.

“I run this machine all day long, yet I’m not tired at the end of the day,” said Norton.

The Bomag BC1172RB-2 has been designed to extend time between maintenance periods and reduce downtime. The drive components are protected within the sealed frame design, the hydrostatic drive is virtually wear free, the oil filter system extends hydraulic oil change intervals up to 2000 operating hours and the engine cooling air intake is more than 14 ft. (4.3 m) high, well out of the way of dust and debris, according to the manufacturer.

“This machine is very easy to maintain,” continued Norton “All fluids are in one spot and not in various locations like competitive model refuse compactors.”

SCIA has already seen overall improvements of their landfill since the arrival of the Bomag compactor.

“We’ve seen an increase of 35 percent in both compaction and productivity,” said Cobb. “We expect this percentage to increase each month as we grow accustomed to the machine’s capabilities.”

For more than 35 years, JESCO has been supplying municipalities like the SCIA and contractors throughout New Jersey and the New York metro area with a wide range of construction equipment including John Deere, Hitachi, Bomag, Hypac, Indeco, Genesis and Hydrema. JESCO has three New Jersey branch offices located in South Plainfield, Fairfield and Lumberton.

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

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