Get to know Eco Station procedures and policies

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By Jennifer Garcia

With the recent ribbon cutting of the new Eco Station, Los Alamos residents know it’ll be just a few more weeks before the old county landfill is a distant memory.

The Eco Station is one of the many steps that the Environmental Sustainability Board is taking to make Los Alamos a green community.

With the opening of the Eco Station right around the corner, it’s important for residents to know what sort of policies and procedures the Eco Station employees will be following.

Knowing what to expect and what sort of waste will be accepted will make the transition from landfill to Eco Station smoother for everyone.

The following procedures are outlined in the Los Alamos County Solid Waste Division Eco Station Waste Screening Policy and Procedure documents: The Waste Screening Policy for the Eco Station states that upon entering the scales, the scale operator will ask the transporter what type of waste they are hauling and where it was generated.

The scale operator will then inspect each load using inspection mirrors. Some loads will be randomly selected for a documented waste screening. Should this happen, the scale operator will notify the customer that they’ve been selected and that further instruction will be given once they enter the Eco Station.

The scale operator will then give the customer waste screening paperwork, with instructions to provide the paperwork to the County staff conducting the waste screening. The scale operator will then notify the transfer station operator of the vehicle that has been selected.

Upon entering the transfer station, the operator will guide the customer to the designated tipping area for inspection. All boxes, bags and containers will then be opened to in order to be screened for prohibited waste.

If unacceptable waste is found, NMED will be notified. Unacceptable waste, which does not represent a health hazard will be reloaded onto the vehicle, which delivered it.

If the unacceptable waste is suspected to be hazardous in nature, the waste will be isolated and the driver delivering the waste will be questioned as to its source.

If the waste is subsequently determined to be hazardous, transfer station personnel will prevent access to the waste and contact an emergency response contractor to properly manage the waste.

Customers who deliver unacceptable waste materials will be subject to precautionary measure on future loads. The measures will include questioning the driver and screening the load.

Customers or drivers which repeatedly attempt to deliver unacceptable wastes to the Eco Station will be prohibited from using the facility.

Being cognizant of what you are hauling and attempting to dump is paramount in having a successful Eco Station operation and keeping both, Eco Station employees and Los Alamos residents safe.