Automated dust control useful at Minnesota transfer station
A Minnesota waste transfer station has obtained excellent control of airborne
dust particles, while reducing costs for manpower, fuel and replacement air
filters on heavy equipment through high-efficiency automated dust control.
The new dust suppression system has been so effective that company officials
expect the payback period will be less than 12 months.
Like many transfer stations and recycling facilities, the
Resource Recovery Technologies staff at the Malcolm Avenue transfer station
in Minneapolis had been battling airborne dust by manually spraying with
a fire hose. The facility typically receives 250 truckloads of residential
refuse, yard debris and wood scraps each day, processing about 450 tons of
debris, operating five days a week.
“We found several disadvantages to manual spraying for dust control,” commented
site supervisor Ken Tritz. “The technique was only marginally successful
in knocking down the airborne particles, leaving us with a visible dust cloud
virtually all day. As a result, the air filters on our heavy equipment needed
frequent replacement, which drove up operating costs.”
That approach saturated the debris piles, which became
a major issue according to Tritz. “The oversaturated material was far heavier as a result of
the constant spraying,” he said. “That meant we were using more
fuel in trucks hauling to the landfill, essentially paying extra to transport
the water weight in each load. When we looked at the increased costs, the
added manpower required and the potential for slipping on floors with standing
water, we knew we needed a better solution.”
While researching the available alternatives to manual
spraying, Tritz came across some information on a fully automatic high-pressure
misting system designed specifically for dust control. He learned that the
oscillating fan from Dust Control Technology (DCT) located in Peoria, Illinois,
is built to atomize droplets to the optimum size for dust suppression, 50-200
microns, and decided to give the unit a try.
“After just a few days, we noticed a dramatic improvement in the air
quality,” observed Tritz. “Visibility was greatly improved, and
we no longer needed to waste manpower by having a worker spraying a fire
hose over the material all day.”
The Dust Boss DB-30 requires only 15 PSI of constant pressure,
and water is supplied by a standard 5/8”″ garden hose. “This unit
is designed from the ground up for effective dust suppression,” said
DCT president Edwin Peterson.
Between the manpower savings, reduced fuel costs and longer
air filter life, Tritz estimated that the payback on the unit would be less
than a year.
“We were spending four to six man hours each day, trying to control
the dust manually,” he continued. “Now we’ve eliminated
that wasted effort, and we’ve significantly reduced the time required
to constantly inspect and change air filters on our wheel loader and other
heavy equipment. It’s also created a better work environment and contributed
to improved employee morale.”
Resource Recovery Technologies (RRT) operates 13 facilities
across Minnesota, providing sustainable and cost-effective disposal and recycling
for a variety of materials, including construction and demolition debris,
municipal solid waste, yard waste, wood waste and source-separated organic
material. The company is the largest processor of organic materials in the
Midwest, and in 2005, RRT facilities processed over 250,000 tons of construction
and demolition debris, 500,000 tons of municipal solid waste and over one
million cubic yards of yard debris and wood waste into fuel for electricity
generation, soil amendments and mulch products.