Scale problems create scramble

Contributed photoThe Catskill Transfer Station.

CATSKILL — A much-needed update to the county’s transfer stations has resulted in a scramble for scales.

In the midst of the project, which involves making the Hunter and Coxsackie stations capable of exporting their own waste rather than trucking it to Catskill first — a considerable cost savings — Hunter’s scale failed.

Although the Hunter Transfer Station will be rebuilt, a new scale was installed in late November for about $75,000.

County lawmakers Monday voted to order another scale for the price of $102,260 to Scale Service & Supply Co. in Rensselaer. The scale will be installed at the Catskill station, with the current Catskill scale being moved up to the Windham location so the station can handle the additional tonnage while Hunter is decommissioned, according to the resolution.

“The scale at Windham is well past its life,” Legislator Michael Bulich, R-Catskill, said Tuesday. “It doesn’t have a prayer to stay operational with the additional amount of [tonnage].”

Hunter accepts about 3,000 tons per year, Windham about 2,200 tons, Greene County Highway and Solid Waste Superintendent Robert Van Valkenburg said.

The cost to Scale Service & Supply Co. will include the installation in Catskill and the scale transfer and installation in Windham, Bulich said.

The new scale is a hydraulic model that is more reliable and requires less maintenance, Bulich said.

After several designs with the consulting team at Barton & Loguidice, the county decided to completely rebuild the Hunter Transfer Station rather than renovate it. The estimate for the project is $1.4 million.

“It is much higher than our original estimate, but it is a much more workable solution,” Van Valkenburg said in December.

The Hunter Transfer Station is expected to be out of service for about four months, he said.

The scale that was installed in Hunter after the failure in October will remain in Hunter, Bulich said.

A problem with the previous design was that the trailers were too high above the tipping floor, Van Valkenburg said.

“They were four feet above the tipping floor,” he said. “We’ve been able to lower that to three feet and now have 20 feet of clearance from the top of the trailer.”

In the existing building, there is 12.5 feet of clearance, which makes it difficult for the excavators to compact the waste in the trailers, Van Valkenburg said.

The trailers are required to meet a 28-ton minimum, so compaction is critical, he said.

By making the Hunter station capable of shipping its own waste rather than having everything sent to Catskill could result in an estimated savings of about $100,000 per year in trucking costs, Van Valkenburg said.

Barton & Loguidice was also hired to reconfigure the Coxsackie station to have this capability and to design a new scale house in Catskill.

The county will go out to bid on the Hunter site within the next week, Bulich said.

“In approximately 30 days we will find out what kind of cost we are looking at,” he said. “You never really know until the bids come back.”

Once a bid has been accepted, a construction schedule can be set, he said, adding that the goal is to take care of the Hunter station within this construction season.

It would be ideal to tackle the project in the April-June period, Bulich said, because there is less garbage on the mountain during that time period.

“The ski resorts quiet down and it’s before people start visiting the mountaintop for the summer season,” Bulich said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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