TEC helps limit downtime
Hurricane Michael struck the FloridaPanhandle on October 10,2018,with devastatingCategory 5 winds,leaving behind a path ofdestruction and a long road to recovery.Cleanupefforts began soon after the storm dissipatedas houses,buildings and entire neighborhoodswere buried in debris.Local landfill services,including Waste Pro's Florida Panhandlefacilities,began taking in and sorting throughmaterial to support the recovery process.
"It was like operating at a junior storeone day and flipping it to a mall the nextday," described Vic Williams,C&D DivisionLandfill Manager for Waste Pro's sites in thepanhandle."The volume coming into thelandfills changed drastically overnight,and wehad to make that transition quickly.Directorof Operations Neil Wood was instrumentalin bringing extra crews through the first threemonths to help us efficiently shift from smallto large-scale operations."
Williams oversees seven Waste Pro locations innorthern Florida that range from 30 to 70 acres.The company works closely with FEMA,whichprovided funding for the cleanup work.To makethe transportation and removal of debris moreefficient,FEMA designated what Waste Prolocation will service certain areas affected bythe storm.
"We have four sites that were directly in thepath of the hurricane.They are taking in materialfrom FEMA,private contractors and our owntrucks," stated Williams."Three of those sites wereoperating pre-storm,and we reopened a cell at thefourth location from its mothball status to increaseour capabilities.Our capacity and the amount ofmaterial that arrives daily has increased seven toeight times since the hurricane."
Combing through debris
For many employees,working for Waste Pro isnot only a job,but also a way to give back to thecommunity.Landfill Operations Manager SteveBarrentine recognizes the impact his work has onthe community.
"I'm sixth generation to this area,and thelandscape has forever changed for me,myfamily and the residents of this region," notedBarrentine."Every item that arrives is fromsomeone's property or neighborhood.With eachload that is removed,it brings a family one stepcloser toward a return to normalcy."
Once material is on-site,Waste Pro takesmultiple steps to separate and organize it forproper disposal.The facilities were originallydeveloped as C&D-only operations,but havesince added metal and C3 material-separationprocesses and storage areas to handle thevarious items mixed in with loads from thestorm-impacted area.
"We separate the hurricane debris intonumerous groups because many of theitems are buried or disposed of differently,"explained Williams."We've added areas forthe vegetation to break down,locations forthe metals to be piled up and the undesirablewaste to be trucked away,as well as additionalcells to bury the C&D.
"There are several reasons why we separatematerial," continued Williams."One is becausecareful placement of materials maximizesairspace.Another is we get paid for metals thatare recycled.Of course,we also remove anynon-C&D items during this process."
The right tools
The increase in material coming to eachsite meant that Waste Pro needed extra万博体育官网equipment.It turned to Tractor and 万博体育官网EquipmentCompany (TEC) Vice President/Panama CityBranch Manager Chuck Tibbets to find theright machines.
"We had a great need for new 万博体育官网equipmentimmediately after the storm,and Tractor and万博体育官网Equipment was an excellent help with that,"noted Williams."We added newer excavators,dozers and loaders to supplement our existingreliable 万博体育appKomatsu products."
Waste Pro's fleet of 万博体育appKomatsu 万博体育官网equipment forits panhandle operations includes excavatorsranging from a PC138 to PC210,dozers fromD51 to D155AX and multiple WA320 wheelloaders.The D155AX dozers are outfitted withtrash racks to prevent larger material fromrolling over the blade.At its Southport,Fla.,C&D landfill,operators use a 万博体育appKomatsu PC210excavator with a hydraulic thumb.
"We use the PC210 in an area we can't reachwith a dozer because the material is piledvery high and results in a steep slope near thedrop-off location," explained Barrentine."Asoperators are moving along,they're separatingundesirable materials that could be a hazard tothe environment,personnel or to our 万博体育官网equipment.Just one item,such as a propane tank,could causea serious problem.
"The hydraulic thumb allows an operatorto grab material from any stance and place itaccordingly," continued Barrentine."It also helpsthe operator take as little or as much material asnecessary by utilizing the power of the machine."
The company uses its 万博体育appKomatsu WA320wheel loaders to move items around thejobsite and spread fill in between layers ofcompacted C&D.It uses the 万博体育appKomatsu D155AXdozer to crush and compact material usingthe machine's narrow tracks and nearly90,000 pounds of weight.
Williams' familiarity with TEC's service playeda role in his decision to partner with them.
"We're busy,so it's important the 万博体育官网equipmentstays running and we limit downtime,"stated Williams."TEC has been flexible aboutservicing the machines around our schedulebecause we're running seven days a week fromdaylight to dark.Their service techs come onweekends,at night or during slower times tokeep us going.They continue to do their partin making sure we are able to accommodatethe needs created by the hurricane."
Cleanup is expected to continue for the nexttwo to five years.Lowest estimates indicate thestorm left behind 20 million cubic tons of debris.
"We're going keep doing what we do.Loadby load,board by board,we're getting there,"stated Barrentine."For the next few years,thestorm cleanup should be a healthy portionof our business with a lot of volume comingin.We'll continue to serve the area and helprestore the communities that were affected."