A Trip to the Landfill

by | Dec 4, 2011 | Levco Green Remodeling | 3 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes
green remodeling Boise

The New Weigh Station

As a contractor that boasts of our Green Remodeling techniques, Levco is conscious and aware of our environmental impact. One of our 4 pillars of Green Remodeling is resource conservation. Through our process of remodeling your home, lots of debris is generated. What we can’t easily recycle or reused goes off to the Ada County Landfill. 

As a kid, there is nothing much more fun than getting to go to the landfill, My memories of going down to the Berkeley landfill as a child are vivid: old guys scouring the stuff looking for things to reuse, occasionally picking up some jewel of a discarded trinket, being nearly overwhelmed with the thundering trucks and occasional story of someone backing over the edge. As a teenager, I had the fortune of driving my father’s international dump truck there. Although they’re less friendly and we have lost the freedom to take stuff away, I think Landfills have come a long way in the last half century.

remodeling recycling Boise

TV Country

I now have a construction hydraulic dump trailer (which I purchased right after I fell out of my flat bed unit). I get to/have to, go to the dump rather frequently. Being a regular has its perks. For one, I have a charge account, and I’ve also gotten to know the ladies of the dump pretty well. (No I didn’t just say that). I recently referred to the dump shack and was corrected…”you mean the Scale House”. OK they have some pride, that is a good thing. It triggers a memory of when dump truck drivers changed their profession to”Sanitary Engineers”

The Berkeley Landfill now has a transfer stations where stuff is sorted and recycled or re-purposed, and dumping is done by weight. The material is transferred out to different places for disposal or reuse and recycling. Perhaps that is where we are headed? We seem to have plenty of acreage, but then all good things must come to an end I suppose.

Here in Boise, we have several cool things being done now but it is not as refined a system as those in other parts of the country. I have listed them among my vendors and am pleased to be working with them pretty well recently.

resource conservation remodeling Boise

Wood Recycling

Some cool things:

  1. We have a Hazardous Waste Disposal Site that is open Fridays and Saturdays. You just drive up and they take the stuff  out of the vehicle for you. A little known fact is that they have separated some things for resale… The ultimate in reuse!
  2. We just implemented a system that will charge based upon weight of the load, but that is still a year out. At the moment, they are still charging by volume and “collecting statistics” for now.
  3. Power is generated by collecting gasses from rotting debris
  4. Wood that is separated is being chewed up and resold for bio mass heating. In other words it is burned in fancy furnaces for industrial heaters.
  5. TV,s refrigerators, and other environmentally hazardous things are separated for safe reclaiming.
  6. You’re allowed to have an account to charge your dumps.

Because I’m a regular at the dump, I also have a cool computer chip in my windshield that is read upon landing on the scale. I get to use the industrial scale ( that the big blue dump trucks use) and I get to tell the computer what type of trash I have and how much, in cubic yards. Then I get to go dump, and skip the civilian line on the way out too. Eventually, it should be even faster. I also get, or have to go (depending upon your perspective) to the North Cell – a huge place where the big trucks don’t mix with the civilian population. Everything is huge there. I dare not share these photos. They could be TOP SECRET. Actually, I could not have done the immensity justice. Truthfully, I was so busy dumping and getting out of there while the earth below me was trembling and gigantic devices were roaming around. With tremendous squadrons, probably thousands of birds, keeping an eye on all the activity, I wouldn’t dare pause to snap a photo. I could be crushed like a bug or taken away!

Upon leaving the site, I weigh out again and also get to go in a separate line and back to the job site I go. All in all, I would say that over the past 20 years, my experiences have been ranged from frustration and anger to pleasantly surprised. Recently, I have had nothing but nice things to say. As long as Les Schwab continues to provide free flat repair, and my 4 wheel drive gets me unstuck in inclement weather, I am essentially a happy dumper.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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Leave A Comment

3 Comments

  1. Ted Hutchinson

    Mr. Levitch: Thank you for letting me know about your blog. I read it with great interest. As the County’s landfill manager, I need to hear feedback from our customers. I regret that you and I could not connect after we put your RFID tag in (the computer chip). I know you had some issues with the system. Frankly, I am still having issues with the system. The new software we are using has been a challenge. With regard to the activities at the landfill, we are making progress toward being a state-of-the-art landfill while trying to keep the costs to our users reasonable. Thanks to ever-changing goverment regulations (like the one that drove installation of the scales), Ada County faces the challenge of keeping costs in check so that we can avoid price increases. Please bring issues to me. I would prefer to address them head-on than try to side-step them.
    Thanks again for letting me know about your blog.

    Reply
    • Joe Levitch

      Ted, thanks for your comments, I am pleased, as you can see with the landfill and am an interested party to say the least. My major issues have all been resolved and I painted the progress with the landfill in a favorable brush. I look forward to the landfills evolution. If I ever have issues you will be the first one to know. The impetus for the article was born when one day I realized that the percentage of folks that actually visit the landfill is very small. I wanted them to be able to take a ride-along with me.

      Reply

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