Solid Waste District receives Trust Accountability Program (TAP) safety award

The Grand County Solid Waste Special Service District No. 1 (GCSWSSD) was recently awarded its first Utah Local Government Revised Trust Accountability Program (TAP) Safety Award for the successful implementation of a loss prevention best practice program in 2016.

In recognition of the honor, the district received a cash award and will receive a discount on its worker’s compensation premium for next year, district officials said in a news release.

The district’s program increased safety awareness for the staff in conducting business at the two landfills and recycling center, increased training for all levels of staff, revised the employee handbook, and implemented an improved driver monitoring program, said GCSWSSD Manager Deborah Barton.

“I am pleased that the district has been recognized for making strides in improved safety,” Barton said. “The board and I are taking a proactive approach to safety as our industry has the fifth highest incidents of serious accidents and fatalities in the nation, and we have no desire of adding to those statistics.”

Because of the concern for safety, the district moved the recycling drop point farther away from the bailing operations to separate the public from the equipment operations. Additional changes will be made this year to increase distance between public and equipment and district officials are asking recycling partners to be aware of the equipment, officials said.

“We are always open to suggestions for improved efficiencies, especially those involving safety,” said Barton.

Another visible change at the Moab Laandfill is an increase in random load inspections for loads arriving on site. A waste screening program is required by federal and state law and the district has adopted a more formal approach to selecting random loads to meet the monthly criteria. The program is intended to reduce the risk of hazardous wastes being improperly disposed of in the landfills and contaminating the site for the future or harming employees and customers onsite through a release of the materials, Barton said.

“A random inspection keeps everyone on their best behavior since no one can predict when their winning ticket number will be selected, sort of like winning a lottery, without the rewards,” Barton said with a smile. “Using a random-number generator tied to ticket numbers increases objectivity in selecting an incoming load for inspection. This does not mean that we won’t inspect other loads to help folks reform any bad habits they may have in disposing of unacceptable material.”

The Moab Landfill is closed to the public on Wednesdays, Sundays and holidays. Operating hours on open days are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and the gate closes at 5 p.m. Access to the Klondike Landfill north of the airport is by franchise holders only for household trash and special wastes, such as non-friable asbestos material — materials containing asbestos fibers that have been bonded by resin, cement, vinyl or some other additive — or petroleum contaminated soils. Recycling center hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except holidays.

For more information, contact the Solid Waste District at 435-259-3867. The office, located at 1000 E. Sand Flats Road, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.