The Sunbury Municipal Authority recently filed an application with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to upgrade its municipal transfer station.
The facility is currently allowed to take in an average of 80 tons of waste per day, with a maximum of 100 tons on any one day. Sunbury proposes to increase the amount of waste they can accept (tonnage limit) to a maximum and average of 300 tons per day.
Facility upgrades: Proposed changes to the site include an expansion of the existing roof that covers the area where waste is dumped (the tipping floor) and the addition of walls and fencing to control trash from blowing off the site. The current roof only covers a portion of the tipping floor and can allow rain and snow to touch the waste. The larger roof is intended to protect the waste from the weather and improve safety. The proposed walls and fencing would prevent blowing waste from leaving the site.
The applicant is also asking to dump waste directly onto the tipping floor. This is not permitted in the current permit; however, the change would allow for better flow of traffic within the facility and increase the safety of those hauling and transferring waste.
The applicant also proposes to install low-profile scales where the trailers are loaded to allow the facility’s employees to monitor the weight of the trailers as they are filled. Currently they need to move the trailer to the scale house to determine if it has reached its load capacity.
Hours of operation: In addition to the changes described above, the Authority also submitted another application in June 2020 to expand the hours of operation at the site to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The facility currently operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Authority is not planning to change the current hours of operation, but by changing the permit it will allow hours to be controlled by the Authority in the future, rather than be set in the permit. This could allow them to set up special collections or projects that would be outside the current hours of operation.
Timeline for a decision: DEP’s review of a major modification to a residual waste transfer station typically takes 140 days. However, the process is affected by how quickly the permit application requirements are met.
Copy of application: The application is available for review directly at this link. The application can also be viewed at Sunbury City Hall on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Additional questions about this permit can be emailed directly to Lisa Houser, with the DEP.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.