Los Lunas transfer station expansion gets trash trucks back on streets faster

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The recent Los Lunas transfer station expansion allows more efficiency in refuse collection for the village.

The station serves residential collection service, commercial collection within the village and residents who make an occasional trip.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Jason Marquez, the Los Lunas transfer station operations supervisor, said the three new docks recently added to the transfer station allow garbage trucks to get back to their village routes faster.

Three more docks were added for unloading garbage trucks, which has reduced waiting time and allows the trucks to get back on the routes faster, rather than losing time going to the landfill.

The landfill is 16 miles from the transfer station, a trip that consumes about 1.5 hours.

“It allows us to time our trips to the landfill in a more efficient way,” said James Blasing, director of utilities. “We’re not so stacked up.”

The additional floor space buys more time when something goes wrong with a truck, a tractor, or any other unforeseen problem, said Jason Marquez, the transfer station operations supervisor.

“I have that much more space,” he said. “I can go about two days without having to move anything.”

On windy days the doors to the station can be closed, keeping debris from escaping the unloading trucks.

The compacted trash is hauled to the landfill by a tractor trailer that can carry an average of five to six garbage truck loads to the landfill, saving wear and tear on the route trucks, he said.

Each 18-wheeler can carry about 20 tons, and makes an average of three trips per day.

About 5,000 square feet was added to the facility, including a small office and a storage unit, and the extra space provides storage of larger equipment at night.

The new office gives Marquez an enclosed space for a desk and chair to keep log books of the tonnage that goes out to the landfill and what the village recycles, a record required by the New Mexico Environmental Department.

“We still have some stuff to do here to allow him to communicate with us by Internet,” Blasing said. “That’s coming later, but at least he has a place to work.”

The transfer station also compacts the recycled materials from the village Convenience Recycling Center on Don Pasqual.

Employees are in charge of the recycling operation, Blasing said.

They handle all the operations and find markets for the products.

It still isn’t cost effective, but hopefully in time the village will break even.

It depends on revenues the utilities department receives and investments it is able to make, such as purchasing another baler for the transfer station, he said.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.