The proposed $9.8 million facility will replace the city’s current transfer station, located next to the ballfields of Sunset Park. The current facility can handle about 200 tons of trash per day – it now accepts about 160 tons per day – although it is permitted for 400 tons. Likewise, the new facility was originally set to receive a permit of up to 1,000 tons per day, far exceeding the 400 tons per day it will be designed to handle and that will be needed to accommodate all the city’s garbage after build-out to 75,000 residents is achieved.
In both cases, the excess permitted tonnage was intended to allow for brief interruptions in the ability to transfer waste out of the city, such as might occur during labor problems or even natural disasters. At Tuesday’s council meeting, Assistant City Engineer Paul Eldredge assured the council that although the consultant report done several years ago on the new location said it would allow Brentwood to provide service for other communities, there are no plans to do so. The facility itself is not over-sized, and will handle Brentwood’s trash only, he said.
“We are not building the Taj Mahal of transfer stations,” said Eldredge. “It’s appropriate for this city at build-out.” In response to council concerns, the permitted size of the new facility would be reduced from 1,000 tons per day to 500, he added.
The new location will be north of the current site and farther away from the ball fields. It will also be enclosed, Eldredge said, which means savings will come from not needing to ship heavy, rain-soaked trash to the landfill. Shelter from the wind could also help lower costs, as wind-blown trash will be less likely to contaminate recyclables and lower their value to recycling companies.
The council approved up to $514,000 in design costs for the facility, although that figure could be less. It will be designed to about 50 percent of its final configuration, then return to the council for another approval. Eldredge also said staff would evaluate possible phasing options to see if the new facility could be built smaller at first, putting off some of the expenses a few years until the full capacity is needed. The vote was 4-1, with Councilman Brandon Richey dissenting over the possibility that a plan to haul others’ trash might still be “floating around out there somewhere,” and concern that there wasn’t a need to spend money on the facility given the current economic climate.