Daily Operations

The "area method" of landfilling is used at the Austin Community Landfill. Refuse is unloaded directly at the toe or at the top of the inclined working face and into daily disposal areas. Each disposal area contains the refuse delivered to the site on that day. The incoming refuse is unloaded within the active landfilling area, and spread in lifts of two feet thick, using bulldozers and trash compaction equipment. Waste is then compacted prior to the next lift being placed.

The waste is covered at the end of each day.

Waste placement in disposal areas is in accordance with a predetermined fill sequence plan. Under the plan, the working face is minimized to reduce the generation of leachate to the extent practical. Construction of the final cover begins once areas have reached their maximum grades.

Scalehouse

Located on the entrance road is a computerized weigh station. Trucks are weighed in and out of the site utilizing two 70-foot, 100-ton capacity scales. The scalehouse computer system maintains a database of each transaction including the name of the customer, volume, weight, waste type, and time of disposal. State-required quarterly and annual reports are generated with this data.

 

Access to the landfill is controlled through security fences, security gates, video cameras, and operating hours.

Traffic entering and exiting the weigh station is videotaped on a closed circuit television and monitored at the scalehouse facility. Speed limit signs, no smoking signs and signs directing traffic to the working face are posted along the access road.


Wheel Wash System

In 2003, Waste Management installed an automated heavy-duty truck wheel wash system used by trucks in wet conditions to remove mud from their tires before entering nearby public roads. Manufactured by Michigan-based InterClean Equipment Company, the wheel wash system design is based on trucks driving over pressurized manifolds. There are a total of two spraying manifolds that spray from the top, sides and different angles to thoroughly clean the tires and lower details of a vehicle.

There are over 70 individual spray nozzles. The total water output of the tire wash system is over 600 gallons per minute at approximately 60 pounds per square inch of pressure. To be environmentally responsible, the tire wash system operates using recycled water. Water from the tire wash system is directed into a large concrete collection basin. The collection is constructed to prevent uncontrolled discharge of water. Impurities are removed before the water is reused. The pumps and motors are electrically driven providing clean operation. The system has an automatic back flush and purge system making it virtually maintenance free.

The tire wash system is very similar in operation to the systems installed by InterClean to aid in the clean up effort at the former World Trade Center in New York. InterClean was also recently selected by the U.S. Military to design and prototype the next generation of Rapid Deployment Wash Facilities that will be used by both the U.S. Military and Department of Homeland Security.

Special Waste

The Austin Community Landfill uses a TCEQ-approved waste screening program to identify unauthorized waste. Employees are trained in proper observation, identification and handling of special waste. Special waste customers must have their wastes profiled and pre-approved by qualified technical staff within Waste Management prior to acceptance at the landfill, in accordance with a TCEQ-approved waste acceptance plan.