Going Green with CNG
In an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of our waste transfer operations, stabilize long-term fuel costs, support the Pennsylvania-based natural gas industry and build a cleaner, more sustainable future, LCSWMA has undertaken an initiative at the Transfer Station to replace our current diesel-powered transfer fleet with trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
Our daily transfer operations necessitate the use of 14 truck tractors that haul waste from the Transfer Station to either the Waste-to-Energy Facility or the Frey Farm Landfill. These trucks consume an average of 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. As our fleet was aging and preparations were made to buy new trucks, coupled with the volatile prices of diesel fuel, LCSWMA considered the feasibility of retiring its current fleet and purchasing new trucks with CNG engines. However, the absence of a suitable technology that offered engines powerful enough for each of our truck's 80,000 pound payload was a major obstacle. Until this year!
For the first time in early 2013, the new 12 liter CNG engine technology became commercially available. LCSWMA staff had the opportunity to test drive the new truck several times on our transfer route, ensuring the new engine could stand up to the daunting climbs of both Chickies Hill and Turkey Hill while pulling a full weight of trash. The test runs were a success and we made the decision to order 14 new CNG trucks.
The cost of purchasing the new CNG trucks is around $2.2 million. To help offset the incremental difference of purchasing CNG trucks versus diesel trucks, we were awarded a $350,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), as part of their PA Natural Gas Energy Development Program.
Additionally, conversion of our transfer fleet to CNG requires the installation of CNG fueling infrastructure at our Transfer Station. While LCSWMA will utilize a slow-fill (overnight) fueling system for our fleet, we are also installing a fast-fill fueling station for waste haulers and other select fleets. Installing this combo station will provide a faster payback on the project, while also allowing our customers to make the switch to CNG more affordable by eliminating the need to build their own CNG fueling station.
We estimate the cost for installing this CNG infrastructure to be approximately $1.5 million. Currently, LCSWMA staff is working through the bidding process to procure vendors for constructing the CNG fueling infrastructure, as well as for operating the fast-fill station. Our expected timeline for completion is sometime late this fall.
By converting our transfer fleet to CNG, we have the potential of reducing over 10 million pounds air pollutants each year in Lancaster County, while experiencing significant cost-savings for fuel.
Are you ready for summer? Maybe you skipped spring cleaning fever and are gearing up for the warmer weather by de-cluttering your home. As you look to simplify, here are a few tips and reminders:
1. Unsubscribe to unwanted mail
Summer is a season for relaxation. Who wants to spend it sorting through unwanted mail? If the clutter never makes it to your home, you never have to deal with it. Remember, reducing the amount of waste you create should always come first. For those catalogs and magazines you do receive, make sure you recycle them. Here are two sites that will help you reduce unwanted mail: DMA Choice and Catalog Choice
2. Switch from hard copies to digital directories
In our current digital age, printed information quickly becomes obsolete. More bulky directories mean less space on your bookshelf or closet. With easy access to online directories, you get the same instant information with a simple click. Make the switch from hard copies to digital. Here is a link to stop delivery of new phone books: National Yellow Pages Opt-Out Site.
3. Recycle your computers and televisions
Looking to get rid of that old television? Remember, TVs are considered "covered devices" and the law requires they be recycled. Other items considered covered devices include desktop computers, laptops, monitors, computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, printer and speakers) and e-readers that browse the internet. Not to worry though, you can recycle those items for FREE at our Household Hazardous Waste Facility, located at 1299 Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster. We'll take up to 10 items per customer, per day. Visit the Recycling Covered Devices page on our website for more information.
4. Responsibly dispose of waste from Home Projects
For large items or amounts of waste, beyond your regular curbside pick-up, contact your trash hauler to make special arrangements. Or for a small fee, you can dispose of trash at one of our three facility locations: Transfer Station Complex, Waste-to-Energy Facility or Frey Farm Landfill. Common deliveries from residents include construction/demolition waste from home improvement projects, old appliances, used tires, damaged furniture, etc. Visit our website for more information and rates regarding Disposing of Trash.
Instead of throwing away old rugs, towels or blankets, check with your local animal shelter or humane league to see if they can be used in caring for needy animals.
Increasing Capacity through Regionalization
Part of effective, responsible municipal waste management involves preparing for future growth. As our Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility in Conoy Township nears its processing capacity, our leadership team has spent the last several years exploring various possibilities for expanding capacity.
One avenue initially considered was adding a fourth boiler to our facility. This type of expansion would have increased our waste processing capacity, but also brought some significant challenges including permitting hurdles, a hefty construction price and the need to bring in out-of-county waste to use in the beginning years until we grew into the added capacity.
Then in 2011, we had an innovative idea. We began exploring another avenue for expansion: regionalization. We considered the possibility of acquiring Harrisburg's WTE Facility in Dauphin County and create a regionalized approach to managing waste. This type of expansion offers less risk, as the facility is already permitted, it is functioning well and purchasing the asset would cost less than expanding our own facility. Plus, its close proximity (only 18 miles from our WTE Facility) was ideal. We can grow into the available capacity as Lancaster County's waste stream volume increases.
Our decision to pursue acquisition of the Harrisburg WTE Facility was not without extensive deliberation, as we reflected on the best course of action to prepare for the future capacity needs of Lancaster County. Our team, including outside consultants, has invested considerable time and resources in this initiative, conducting a thorough due diligence investigation of the financial stability and operational efficiency of the Harrisburg WTE Facility.
We understand that Harrisburg's political history regarding their WTE Facility may raise some questions and concerns about the long-term viability of this acquisition, but the fact is that our history of successfully managing a complex waste system and our own WTE Facility provides a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise to create successful regionalization between Lancaster and Dauphin County. Combining our experience of successfully managing municipal solid waste, with owning a similar WTE facility, while also maintaining excellent relations with the operating vendor, has positioned LCSWMA to evaluate the acquisition of the Harrisburg asset with an expert view.
LCSWMA plans to issue separate debt in the form of revenue bonds to make this purchase. Additional revenues received through this acquisition will pay for the debt-issued, operating costs and capital improvements planned for the site. The acquisition of the Harrisburg WTE Facility will not bear any weight on the finances of the Lancaster County system or its residents, as it will be self-supporting.
While our negotiations continue with Harrisburg Receiver, Major General William Lynch, our hope is to take ownership of the facility in 2013. Once the Receiver releases his complete fiscal recovery plan for the City of Harrisburg, LCSWMA will be permitted to share all the acquisition details with residents in both the Lancaster and Dauphin communities. Exciting things are on the horizon!
Renewable Energy Fact:
Covanta Energy, who also operates LCSWMA's WTE Facility, has done a stellar job with upgrading the Harrisburg WTE Facility since becoming its operator in 2007. For more details, visit Covanta Harrisburg's website.
Cigarette Litter Prevention
Did you know that cigarette smoking in America has decreased over the years, yet cigarette butts remain one of the most littered items in the United States? Every day, cigarette butts pollute our sidewalks, nature trails, gardens, parks, streets and other public places. Littering of cigarette butts is unsightly, costly to clean up and harmful to waterways and wildlife.
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) has established a cigarette litter prevention program designed to support local communities in their efforts to reduce cigar tips and cigarette butt litter. KAB's program offers information, strategies, tools and resources to empower citizens in the fight against litter. For more detailed information on the program, visit: www.preventcigarettelitter.org
In the meantime, here are a few things that you can do to help:
(Source: KAB's Cigarette Litter Prevention)
1. Start in your neighborhood
Look around. Understand your community's perspective on the cigarette litter issue. Take a quick assessment and ask yourself the following questions: Where is cigarette litter impacting my community's quality-of-life, economy and neighborhoods? Where are the areas of greatest need?
2. Research the issue
Find out about local litter laws. Do they exist? Are they enforced? Do they target cigarette litter? Identify stakeholders. Seek out individuals or groups in your community who may be motivated to reduce cigarette litter. Start talking to them and share your concerns.
3. Start a cigarette litter prevention program
Develop a prevention program in your community. It's doable and it will get results. KAB's program will show you how. Implementing KAB's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is mostly about bringing together like-minded community members that can rally behind the issue. From there, it's a matter of organizing around simple strategies that have proven to be effective in reducing cigarette litter.
Green Team Fact:
Did you know that Keep Lancaster County Beautiful (an affiliate of KAB) is an initiative of LCSWMA? Connect with us on Facebook to learn how you can help make our community clean and beautiful.
New CFO, Gary Pruden
LCSWMA welcomes Gary Pruden as new Chief Financial Officer for the organization. Gary is responsible for directing LCSWMA's overall financial policies and functions including accounting, financial reporting, budget planning, debt and investment management and office administration. Additionally, this position drives LCSWMA's fiscal strategy, managing financial performance and evaluating financial opportunities.
Prior to joining LCSWMA, Gary served in a broad range of executive leadership positions in the trucking and transportation industry, most recently as Division President for YRC Glen Moore Inc. out of Carlisle. He sees strong correlations between the trucking/transportation and solid waste management industries, as both are highly transactional and require conscientious, intensive capital investments to maintain operational efficiencies within strict
When asked why he was drawn to working for LCSWMA, Gary says: "This is a very exciting time for LCSWMA and it's a privilege to join this innovative and entrepreneurial organization. I was drawn to LCSWMA's outstanding leadership and dynamic staff, as well as its track record of continued growth, environmental responsibility and commitment to the local community."
To learn more about Gary and view the bios of our other Senior Managers, visit the Executive Team page
on our website.