RRP might be reason to close transfer stations
By: Jason Whipple
In Washington County, NY the RRP rule might be responsible for closing down transfer stations.
While budgets are getting tighter and tighter in this downed economy, Counties and small towns need to try and make ends meet. In Washington County, NY a decision will soon be made to keep several transfer stations open, or close them for good. These transfer stations take household garbage, recyclables, leaves, yard debris, and even Construction debris.
Today I spoke with a few of the attendants and it sounds like (at the least) they will most likely stop taking in Construction debris. The problem, it seems, is that it may be too much to ask employee’s that they monitor all the waste that comes in from Construction projects.
While most Contractors are starting to catch on to the new RRP rule and, supposedly, using proper lead safe practices we are also aware that the rule doesn’t apply to Home owners. This is where the problem lies for these transfer stations. Now with so many more people doing there own work, loading debris into the back of their truck; and in some cases the back seats of their cars; how do these transfer stations handle this material safely and not cause harm to the general public and themselves? This has all the ingredients for a huge liability and potential law suits for them.
As I spoke with a few of the workers today for about 15 minutes, while dropping off my own trash, I saw two such examples of air pollution take place. Amidst the usual long line of people leaving their trash, there was a truck backed into the C&D (construction & demolition) tossing out very old looking and painted wood debris causing clouds of dust to cascade across the entire area. In another place there was a lady throwing bags of junk in the dumpster below that broke open when they hit bottom and again, clouds of dust came from them exposing old, broken, wood windows.
After taking so much time to learn about lead exposure and its potential health hazards, it was pretty easy to see that this was a huge risk to public health. How can they possibly manage this, keep themselves safe from poisoning, and the public as they come to drop off the trash each week? How can they inspect every piece of painted wood that comes through? Should they test everything that come’s in with paint and turn away anything that’s not properly contained? We all know the reality of that is going to be costly and highly inefficient. With budgets already in short falls all over the US, I suspect we will hear about this happening more and more often.
My thoughts are that this RRP rule doesn’t nearly go far enough. Without the setting standards for the home owners as well we will be putting our dumps and their employees at a risk far too high to manage and the most cost effective way for them to react will be to simply not take the debris anymore. This will cause higher costs to contractors and home owners alike by having to hire companies that specialize in debris removal. With local transfer stations closed it will also drive up the costs of these rubbage removal services because there will be little to no alternative and that, ladies and gents, is what keeps cost in check.
Seems to me that we have a lot more to consider about the wave of reaction that will come from these lead rules and I think we need to ask themÂ to start setting standards for everyone that handles this material before the effects start shutting down our public dumps and transfer stations all over the Country.