Raleigh Dedicates Sustainable Solid Waste Services Facility

Bill Russell, Hazen and Sawyer architect, speaks at the dedication.

(RALEIGH, NC – January 25, 2012) – The solid waste services facility that the City of Raleigh dedicated Jan. 25 is as attractive as it is sustainable and economical. Mayor Nancy McFarlane said that the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility was built to Platinum LEED standards. She noted that every aspect of the project expresses the pinnacle of sustainability.

“Dependable collection and disposal of garbage is among any City’s most important responsibilities,” she said. “This new facility will make Raleigh even more efficient in collecting in excess of 85,000 tons of garbage, 25,000 tons of recycling and 17,000 tons of yard waste annually, and it will save the City money in the process.”

The Mayor noted the efficiencies that the City already is realizing from efficiencies. She noted that in 1947, Sanitation was the City’s largest department, with a staff of 120. Garbage collection claimed 12 cents on every City dollar to serve its population of 60,000 in an area of less than 10 square miles.

“Today, with a staff of just 223 we not only collect garbage, but recycling and yard waste as well from a population of more than 400,000 over more than 143 square miles,” she said, “and it only takes 4 cents of every City dollar spent. Now that is efficient!”

Some of the more notable sustainable features include:

•Its location – the facility was built on the site of the landfill the City operated from 1972 to 1997. By reusing the site the City saved the purchase price of a sizeable parcel of land.

•Soil reuse – The 27-acre site was reclaimed by the placement of nearly 160,000 cubic yards of clean fill generated from several Downtown City, State and County construction projects. This saved the hauling costs and related environmental impacts of hauling the soil away.

•Its proximity to the transfer station – In 2007, the City constructed a solid waste transfer facility on a portion of the Wilders Grove site to efficiently repackage Raleigh’s solid waste for hauling to the County’s new landfill near Holly Springs. Having the solid waste fleet operating from the same site saves at least 100,000 miles of driving and more than $250,000 in fuel annually.

•Geothermal HVAC and hot water – The Wilders Grove Solid Waste Facility has a geothermal HVAC and hot water system. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the City a grant for $1.3 million to build the system. The system is comprised of unitary terminal units using direct expansion water source heat pumps with supply air fans and filters using a geothermal ground loop water source. The closed loop piping system pumps water through these wells to reject heat during the summer and absorb heat during winter. The rejected heat will be used to heat water prior to entering the wells. This system will save more than 30 percent over conventional HVAC system designs.

•Totally recycled – The facility’s exterior masonry and siding contain recycled materials. The roof system incorporates a metal roof that allows for photovoltaic arrays. Harvested rain and recycled water are used to clean the Solid Waste Services fleet of trucks.

T.A. Loving, Inc. of Goldsboro was the builder of the $14.65 million project. Hazen and Sawyer designed the uber “green” facility.

The grounds of the facility are landscaped with mulch from the City’s nearby Yard Waste Center. It is sprinkled with recycled glass from Elizabeth City Glass. The main entrance to the facility is laid with pavers in the shape of North Carolina. They were obtained from Grotto Hardscapes in Mebane.

The Solid Waste Services staff is moving to the new location at 630 Beacon Lake Drive from its long-time, cramped and inefficient facility at 400 W. Peace St. Staff from the City’s Public Works Department will move into the facility.

To read more, visit the City of Raleigh website.

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