APWA AZ Newsletter 2014 November

APWA AZ Newsletter 2014 November



In this issue

President's Message
2014 Congress Wrap Up
Feature Article
Project Spotlight
2015 Congress
APWA AZ 2015 Election Results
Call for 2015 Sponsors
Call for Nominations: 2015 Awards
Member News
APWA New Members
Job Opportunities
Supporting Arizona's Students


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2014 Newsletter Sponsors

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November 13, 2014
City Engineers Forum
Maricopa Assoc. of Governments
 More Info >

November 19, 2014
APWA Lunch Meeting
 Phoenix Country Club
More Info > 

December 10, 2014
Holiday Party
 The University Club
More Info > 



*Note: Event dates/times/locations should be verified with appropriate committee chair –See Committee Directory


View the 2014 APWA Arizona
Committee Chairs

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Bill Mattingly photoPlanning for Pandemic Response

Fellow members:

On a daily basis, we hear about the fears of Ebola, Influenza (flu), and other potential deadly pandemic outbreaks.  At a recent city staff meeting, we were briefed about Ebola and Enterovirus and heard about public safety staff, (police, fire and emergency medical technicians) who expressed concern about encountering a patient with one of these diseases.  As a result, there was a plan to provide education and training for these first responders.  But what about Public Works personnel who also respond to the cleanup, treatment and disposal of contaminated materials?  What should custodians, sanitation workers, water and wastewater professionals know about the hazards associated with these diseases?

I was pleased to see that the APWA National website has a number of resources devoted to educating its members about this important issue. 

“The American Public Works Association (APWA) and its members seek to increase awareness and recognition of public works as stakeholders during the planning, response, recovery and mitigation of a pandemic event. Public works professionals play a key role providing continuity of operations and in operating critical infrastructure services, such as water treatment and distribution systems, power generation and distribution systems, communications systems and other critical infrastructure whose failure can directly impact the ability of our Nation to respond to an outbreak.   APWA urges all government officials to consider the following when preparing, responding, recovering and mitigating the devastating impact of a pandemic event and allotting resources for such outbreaks:

~ Involve public works professionals as a stakeholder in evaluating, updating and implementing plans at national, statewide, tribal and local planning processes for response to an epidemic or pandemic outbreak.

~ Use the resources of APWA to identify qualified and experienced individuals and groups to discuss how an epidemic or pandemic will affect public works professionals and thus the national security.

~ Include public work officials in priority distribution of vaccines and medications, such as anti-virals and vaccines.

~ Account for the needs of public works professionals when purchasing personal protective equipment.

~Support and provide opportunities for training public works employees on personal protective equipment that will be utilized during an epidemic or pandemic.

~Encourage the development of Continuity of Operation Plans for the security of our nation which will depend on public/private sectors being ready for a pandemic. “                         (source: APWA Website).

“During such large-scale events as a pandemic public works professionals play a key stakeholder role in the planning, response, recovery and mitigation for their communities and our nation.   Planning and preparedness for implementing pandemic mitigation strategies is complex and will require participation by all levels of government, first responders and society as a whole, including public works professionals. “

The primary mission of APWA is education.  I can think of nothing that is timelier than this.

William (Bill) Mattingly, P.E., R.L.S


For the next few months we’ll be featuring stories from Arizona Chapter APWA members who attended the 2014 APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition on August 17-20 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you have a 2014 Congress story you’d like to share please send it to sheila@gettingitdone.org.

Emily Grimsman, Universal Field Services, Inc.

Having never been to any Congress events before, I was really looking forward to Toronto and experiencing everything it had to offer.  My company, Universal Field Services, Inc. and the Arizona Chapter were generous enough to support me in my endeavors and sent me off to discover APWA on a grander stage.  I didn’t know what to expect but I’d have to say, it made a lasting impression.  First, the PEOPLE are amazing!  Everyone I met, including many of the wonderful volunteers, was so friendly and helpful.  There were so many cities and countries represented.  Not only was it a great opportunity to network but it was nice to learn what other cities were doing.  Second, the City of Toronto is a great city to visit.  Even though my hotel was the farthest one away from the convention center, it was so easy to find my way around.  Toronto is so welcoming that they even named a street after me!  Don’t believe me?  I have a picture to prove it.  The streets are safe even late at night and there were plenty of restaurants to pick from.  I am big fan of food and anytime I explore a new city, you can bet I’ll be looking for some delicious food to try.  I’d have to say that some of the best meals I’ve ever had were from Toronto!  My favorites were a scallop and shrimp dish from a restaurant called Rodney’s Oyster House and the tonkotsu ramen from Santosei Ramen.  Delish!  Lastly, the conference itself was well organized and had plenty of topics to choose from.  As co-chair of the Futures Program for next year’s Congress in Phoenix, I attended several lectures that geared more towards young professionals.  In addition, I attended the Young Professionals Networking Mixer at Amsterdam Brew House.  I had the pleasure of meeting with several young and older professionals from many different parts of the country.  It was a fun evening that I would recommend all young professionals attend.


My favorite event, though, was the Get Acquainted Party.  My hat’s, or as the Canadians call them, toques, off to you, Toronto!  It was well executed, fun, and a great way to kick off the conference.  My most memorable event also happened at the Get Acquainted Party.  For those of you who went, you know about The Royal Order of Newfoundland Screechers.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Honestly, I thought it was just a fun tradition of drinking a special rum (free of charge, may I add) and getting a cool certificate to prove that I did it.  And it was but someone neglected to tell me that it would also include kissing a dead fish…on the mouth.  Unfortunately, by the time I figured that out, it was too late.  Peer pressure wins again.  The “screech-in” involved a shot of screech (Newfoundland rum), a short recitation, and the kissing of a cod.  Besides a cool certificate and maybe some venereal diseases, I came away with memories that still make me smile (and grimace) whenever I think about it.

All in all, it was a great first experience for me and I’m excited see what’s in store for Phoenix!  I hope to see more young professionals next year and if anyone is interested in helping out in any of the committees, we would love to have you!!


5 Things about Social Media Marketing Your Boss Wants To Know

Contributed By Kimberly Mickelson, Small Giants

1.  How is this going to make us money or get work?
2.  How much time will it take?
3.  Who is listening?
4.  What about negative feedback?
5.  What would we post?

Do these questions sound familiar? Since 2009 I’ve been promoting social media marketing and the need for it in the design and construction industry. Whether you want to believe it or not, social media is here and it’s not going anywhere. Below are answers to those questions.

Answer to #1: Can you put a direct dollar amount to a social media post? No. Can you name a client you received just because you are on social media? Probably not. BUT – think of social media in the same marketing area as networking, print ads, or getting featured or mentioned in an article. These are all opportunities of brand awareness. Social media is your online awareness in addition to your website.

Here is an example of how to use social media:  Did you just redesign your website? Now how do you get people to go there? Social media is a great tool to send traffic to your website to learn more about the projects and markets you serve. Let social media find your audience rather than waiting for them to find you!


Answer to #2:
There are multiple management tools available (free and paid) for social media including HootSuite and Buffer that can assist with time management. By using these tools, you can easily schedule 30 minutes out of your day to browse and identify articles to share, find content to post, engage with other companies and schedule posts to automatically publish throughout the day. 


Answer to #3: One of the major items on your to do list when developing a social media plan (yes, you need a plan) is to research where you can find your clients and prospects. Create a simple checklist with a list of clients, prospects, vendors/partners, and associations with the major social media networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) to find out where they are. Then, analyze which network you would like to invest your time in.

Answer to #4: Have you ever Googled your company and scrolled through multiple pages of results to read what every single person has ever said about you? Whether you are on social media or not, chances are that there is a website out there with a negative comment. It happens. When starting social media, creating a process for negative feedback is something that should be considered. The best way to handle it is address the problem and then take the conversation offline if needed. Often times, your online community is just as well-versed in your company and industry as you are. Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is an active social media user and provides a really simple comment policy on their Facebook page.

“We allow the Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly.”

A social media policy is a requirement to protect your employees and your company. There are 3 rules of engagement that you need to consider when drafting a social media policy.

1. Disclose: Your presence in social media must be transparent.

2. Protect: Take extra care to protect both the company and yourself.

3. Use Common Sense: Remember that professional, straightforward and appropriate communication is always best.

Answer to #5: Trying to think of something to post can be a daunting task! Simplify it by creating a content calendar with your team to discuss upcoming project milestones, upcoming events, promotions/new hires, charity participation, new technologies and assign field crew to take photos on project sites. Social media is a great platform to show off your expertise and company culture! Not only will it entice new clients but attract new talent!


Hunt Highway Widening

Article by T. Y. Lin International
Photos by T.Y. Lin International and Skanska Construction

Pinal County, Hunt Highway Widening, Queen Creek/Florence, AZ

Pinal County and T.Y. Lin International (TYLIN) completed construction documents in summer of 2013 for Phase I of Hunt Highway between Empire Boulevard and Thompson Road (approximately 1.5-miles in length). As part of the project, detailed roadway grading and drainage design was completed to eliminate low wash crossings and channelize/convey flows to concrete box and pipe culverts resulting in an all-weather roadway. Major traffic design was also completed and included a proposed signal at the Hunt Highway/Thompson Road intersection, signing and pavement marking and detailed Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plans. Along this phase of Hunt Highway, major fissure remediation and mitigation design was also completed due to the presence of five (5) fissures crossing the roadway (in addition to numerous fissures in the vicinity of the roadway running parallel to Hunt Highway). Because Hunt Highway Phase I was federally funded, the project included the preparation of a Categorical Exclusion and administration/construction management of the project by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The 5-lane roadway opened in August of 2014, after an approximate 10-month construction schedule.

View full size photos >


Partnering played a tremendous role in both the project’s design and construction phases. ADOT, Pinal County, TYLIN and Skanska Construction participated in the partnering process at the onset of construction to revise the designed MOT plans based on changed field conditions from what was obtained as part of the original survey in 2007. Through partnering, the team was able to “flip” the first and second phases of construction along the north and south sides of the roadway and eliminate the need for a significant amount of fill material prior to commencement of any construction activities.  Eliminating this fill material allowed the project to stay on schedule during construction because there was no longer a need to acquire material from a federally approved borrow source.  Over the course of the project’s design, partnering also occurred between Pinal County, TYLIN and several developers adjacent to the corridor. The design team worked directly with several developers to review development plans, access locations and anticipated ½-street construction costs for cash-in-lieu payment. This effort ensured the roadway design best accommodated the proposed development while also ensuring the developer funding received by the County was sufficient for the proposed improvements based on federally guided construction pricing.

View full size photos >


Phase 2 of the Hunt Highway Widening Project (Thompson Road to Gary Road) has been awarded for construction with construction activities anticipated to commence in November, 2014, and last through August 2015. Phases 3 and 4 of the project are anticipated to commence with construction in late 2015 and late 2016, respectively, depending on construction funding and acquisitions from the Arizona State Land Department.

Pinal County

Phase 1 | 03/2007-07/2013 (Design) | 10/2013-08/2014 (Construction)

Construction Cost:
Phase 1 | $ 5,880,000

Project Team:
T.Y. Lin International | Designer
Skanska | Phase 1 Contractor



Thank you to HDR and Stanley Consultants, the latest sponsors for APWA Congress 2015.

Sonoran Desert Sponsor:  Dibble Engineering

White Mountain Sponsors: HDR ~ Stanley Consultants


Painted Desert Sponsor:  Achen-Gardner Contruction ~ EPS Group ~ Wood Patel

Please help the Arizona chapter reach its sponsorship goal of $500k.  For information on Congress 2015 Sponsorships click here or contact Kent Dibble, kent.dibble@dibblecorp.com.


Sign up to Volunteer at the 2015 APWA Congress to be held in Phoenix

The 2015 Congress Volunteers sub-committee is preparing for the big push to fill over 530 volunteer slots needed to make Congress a success.  We have attended the past two Congresses in Chicago and Toronto specifically to observe and learn from those two volunteer committees, and we got some great information and ideas from them.  We are currently looking for volunteer shirt design ideas, and have begun keeping a list of those who express an interest in volunteering.  We are also looking for a few key people to assist us as “Lead Volunteers” – people who will be able to attend most or all of the Congress and can help us with volunteer briefings, preparation, and assisting the volunteers during the event.

Based on past Congress experience, we anticipate these slots will be filled by over 350 individual volunteers, many of whom will come from your organizations.  These volunteers will be needed for such assignments as “Congress Concierge” at the event hotels, checking attendees in and out of educational sessions, way finding around the convention center, and assisting vendors and visitors on the exposition floor, among other similar assignments.  At times there will be as many as 100 volunteers working.  So why would you volunteer, and how do you sign up?

The main benefits of volunteering are easy:

1.  You get a chance to give back to the profession and your peers by serving them at the premier public works event

2. When you sign up for a half day volunteer slot you will get free admission to the event for the other half day.  If your agency can’t afford to register a bunch of employees, look at this as a way to get them all into the event free by volunteering to work for a half day

3.  And best of all, think about the stylish volunteer shirt you get to wear on your day of service – and it’s yours to keep.  WOW!

How do you volunteer:

1.  APWA National will post a website in the spring where all volunteers need to complete the volunteer registration form.  In the meantime, you can send your name and contact information to either of the volunteers sub-committee co-chairs and we will keep a list of people to notify when the volunteer sign-up site goes live

2.  If you plan to have multiple staff volunteer to get them a chance to experience the event, now would be a good time to start scheduling the timing so everyone isn’t trying to volunteer for the same day.  The main days for Congress are Sunday August 30th through Wednesday September 2nd, but we will need some volunteers on Saturday August 29th and Thursday September 3rd as well.

If you are interested, contact either of the Volunteer Co-Chairs,

Rebecca Timmer                                       Jeff Kramer
Dibble Engineering                                    Maricopa County Department of Transportation
rebecca.timmer@dibblecorp.com          jeffreykramer@mail.maricopa.gov 


The 2015 Congress Publicity/Exhibit Committee met last month and developed a strategy for promoting Congress at various regional conferences. Members of the committee and/or members of the local/regional associations will attend conferences and meetings to promote Congress by manning a booth, handing out fliers, and answering general questions. If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference or meeting and would like to help us promote Congress, please contact Amanda McGennis amcgennis@azagc.org or Scott Kirchhofer skirchhofer@achen.com

The Committee has acquired some promotional materials for distribution. With the help of David Dancy, APWA Director of Marketing, we have a Save The Date postcard and an Exhibitor Brochure. These promos can be found at the links below and they are free for anyone to print and distribute. Actually printing and distributing these materials is highly encouraged since we are all on the same team and want to promote Congress as much as possible to maximize the number of exhibitors and attendees.

Save the Date Postcard

Exhibitor Brochure

The Committee has also gathered some great brochures that promote Phoenix, The Valley, and Arizona. These brochures have been supplied to us by Janis Thomas, Senior Director – Convention Services/Housing, with the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. The brochures will give Congress attendees a lot of options for places to see during their visit. We are also reaching out to the Arizona Office of Tourism and Arizona Highways to have them assist in writing articles that promote Arizona. These articles will be featured in APWA email blasts and the APWA Reporter magazine in an effort to build interest in the 2015 Congress and promote registration.

Congratulations to the 2015 APWA Board of Directors election winners.

Loretta Flick, Business Development Director, Allwyn Environmental

Raimundo Dovalina, Jr., Assistant Street Director, City of Phoenix

Greg Smith, Town Engineer, Town of Gilbert

Al Field, President, Al Field and Associates LLC

Donna Sullivan, CIP Design & Construction Manager, City of Tempe

Chris Turner-Noteware, Deputy Street Transportation Director, City of Phoenix

Kristin Tytler, Engineering Manager, City of Surprise



Your Arizona Chapter’s annual operations depend upon donations from our member organizations. Sponsorships pay for the resources required to provide Educational Workshops, the Public Works Leadership Institute, website support, weekly news briefs, monthly newsletters, and much more.

Newsletters are published monthly, posted on the Chapter website and sent electronically to over 1000 recipients in the Public Works field.

Annual Corporate Sponsors’ company logos are prominently displayed at the Chapter Monthly Membership Meeting, Chapter email notices, and on the website. 

For more information visit the 2015 Annual Sponsorships web page.


The APWA Public Works Project of the Year was established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who, working together, complete public works projects. Public works projects may be nominated in four cost divisions and five categories plus in five different categories for Small Cities/Rural Communities.  There is also a Sustainability Practices Award given for individuals and/or programs/organizations/agencies The Chapter then nominates the projects selected as local or Chapter winners (and other meritorious projects) for the APWA National Awards Program.

Individuals are also recognized by the Chapter each year. We will accept award nominations for Outstanding Public Works Employee and Award of Merit. These are awards based on local criteria and are only judged locally. The Award of Merit recognizes public works or related agency personnel at the operational level who perform in an exceptionally efficient and/or innovative manner and the Outstanding Public Works Employee award is for outstanding performance at a managerial level for a Federal, State, County, or Municipal agency.


Important Information

The 2015 APWA Arizona Chapter Award submittals are due January 30, 2015. Once submissions have been judged, they will be uploaded to the National Awards Program by the March 3 due date.

Please submit 6 hard copies and one electronic copy on CD or thumb drive. Deliver your submissions to (if using delivery service, hand-carrying or FedEx):

Jeanne Sapon, Awards Committee Chair
DBA Construction, Inc.
1833 South 59th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85043 

If submittals are being sent via U.S. Postal Service, use the following address to ensure proper delivery:

Jeanne Sapon, Awards Committee Chair
DBA Construction, Inc.
P.O. Box 63035
Phoenix, AZ  85082


For more information, contact Jeanne Sapon at 602-501-4471 or via email at jsapon@dbaconstruction.net



APWA New Member Spotlight

Name/Title/Place of Employment: Gilbert Reyes, Utilities Supervisor, City of Peoria, Arizona.

With APWA Since: 2014

Describe your job responsibilities: I supervise the Water Distribution and Blue Stake divisions for the City of Peoria. In the Water Distribution division, I supervise work crews involved in the maintenance, repair and replacement of all water appurtenances. In the Blue Stake division, I supervise two Utility Locators that locate the City’s infrastructure that include, water, wastewater, reclaim, storm water and fiber optics.

What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? My favorite project in the last ten years was the revitalization of one the city’s well sites. The project included the demobilization of two outdated water reservoirs and the re-piping of all the site’s components that would allow operators to control the movement of water to either the reservoir or out to the system utilizing S.C.A.D.A. The project took less than 6 months and was completed utilizing in house resources. This was a great learning experience for my staff and I.

Where have your travels taken you?: My travels have taken me many places and I still have many places that I want to visit; however, my favorite place is a little town by the name of Seligman, Arizona where I own a few acres in an “open range” area. This is a great escape from the daily tasks of work, school and raising a family. Seligman is a quiet town with great people. I have a cabin there where I enjoy spending time with my family.

Name one thing not many people know about you: I was introduced to supervision at age 16. I was a Junior in high school and working after school for the school district. The Dean of Students who oversaw the program stated he had noticed my leadership skills and work ethic and put me in charge of a crew of four other students. My crew and I were tasked with the cleanup of the school grounds, painting and a few other maintenance tasks consisting of sprinkler repairs and other underground projects. I really enjoyed the opportunity I was given and made my decision that I would follow a career in underground construction that would eventually lead to a position in supervision.


APWA Life Membership

Congratulations to Mark E. Courtney, PE of Brown & Caldwell, who earned the status of Life Membership of the American Public Works Association. Mark is Client Services Manager, Managing Engineer at Brown & Caldwell. 


2014 Ambassador of the Year

Congratulations to Rebecca Timmer, Director, who received the 2014 Ambassador of the Year award by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). She was praised for going above and beyond to be a champion of the region through her participation in the GPEC Ambassador program. The award was given out at the GPEC Annual Dinner in front of nearly 700 guests. 


APWA  Volunteers Paint Home in Surprise

APWA teamed with the City of Surprise and Rebuilding Together to paint a home for a family in need in Surprise’s Original Town Site. The Rock and Roll Paint-A-Thon took place on National Make a Difference Day, a day where millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission - to improve the lives of others. A special thank you goes out to the 15 volunteers who donated their time on Saturday – the entire home was painted in only half a day thanks to their efforts!

Each year, Rebuilding Together holds the Rock-and-Roll Paint-A-Thon in October. Homeowners who are over the age of 60, disabled or veterans are eligible for an exterior home painting, thanks to this program. For more information about this program or if you are interested in other APWA volunteer efforts, please contact Kristin Peck (Events and Community Outreach Co-Chair) at kpeck@oneilleng.com.


APWA Volunteers Help in the Dream Center

APWA was big hit for the second year volunteering in the Dream Center for the St Vincent De Paul family meal service.  Volunteers provided homework help, read books, and lead an aluminum foil boat competition.  The competition started with a brief discussion on “Buoyancy” and why things float.  Acting on one of the principals of buoyancy, the kids and volunteers built aluminum foil boats.  The boats were filled with pennies until they sank, the most pennies wins.  The kids became quickly engaged in the competition and were eager to test their boats.  The winner’s (a 6 year old boy) boat supported all the pennies we had, 433, and was still floating.  Thank you to all who participated, the St. Vincent De Paul staff was asking when we will be back.




Geoff Stone Project Manager Civil Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Martin Lucero Transportation Planning Mgr City of Surprise
Susan Craig Communications Director Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona
Sandy Sutton Executive Director Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona
Curtis Richardson   City of Phoenix
Steve Albrecht Business Development Manager SealMaster-AZ
Albert Baraja, Jr Electrical Supervisor City of Phoenix
Joe Garcia Equipment Shop Foreman City of Phoenix


Project Engineer

Achen-Gardner Construction, an award winning Heavy Civil General Contractor, is seeking a qualified Project Engineer to join our team in the Tucson area.  Successful applicants must meet the following qualifications:

~ Some experience in  Heavy Highway Construction municipal utilities
~ Familiarity with  HCSS and Granite Software
~ Ability to understand owner’s and clients business procedures
~ Ability to read and understand construction plans and means and methods
~ Excellent communication/organization skills

We offer outstanding benefits including:

~ Competitive salary DOE
~ Excellent Health, Dental and Vision Benefits
~ 401K

Fax resume to 480-403-9425 or email to lcastillo@achen.com.  To apply in person, applications will be accepted Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 8am and 12pm at 2425 West Wave Hill Court, Tucson, AZ 85705. Qualified individuals only, no recruiters, please.  EOE/ M/F/Vet/Disability


I was having coffee with my friend Peter Madrid, Professor at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and he mentioned that his students need to get their articles published as a part of course curriculum.  After another cup of coffee and discussing his students’ focus we decided we had a fabulous opportunity to partner by having the students share their articles with our APWA membership when appropriate to our industry.  Peter connected me with Gabriel Sanders.   Gabriel is pursuing his bachelors and masters degrees. He grew up in San Francisco, CA, then Lake Oswego, OR and now he lives in Phoenix!  Gabriel wants to be a professional journalist, and by pursuing publication he stated that it “helps me both to refine my writing and also develop a content resume.”  Please take the time to read Gabriel’s article.  It’s awesome. 

Thank you,
Rebecca Timmer
Dibble Engineering


North Gateway Transfer Station Brings Tech to Trash

By Gabriel Sandler

When people throw away trash, it is out of sight and out of mind. At North Gateway Transfer Station, however, one person’s trash is another person’s job. Chad Hardy is a Solid Waste Superintendent and oversees many of the operations at North Gateway. He described a tightly run operation that keeps the city clean. “If you’re a homeowner in Phoenix…you put your trash can out at 7 a.m. in the morning on your pickup day. A truck comes by and picks it up at 8 a.m. By 9 a.m., it’s dumped on the floor here. By 10 a.m., it’s on a semi-truck heading out to Buckeye. By 11 a.m., 12 a.m., it’s buried in the landfill,” Hardy explained. 

North Gateway opened in 2006 immediately following the closure of the Skunk Creek Landfill. The recycling component, called Materials Recovery Facility, or MRF, began operating in 2007, run by ReCommunity. Since then, the station has become technologically and educationally advanced.  “We’re selling paper back to paper manufacturers, we’re selling cardboard back to cardboard manufacturers, aluminum can be turned back into a new aluminum can in between 60 to 90 days,” said Regional Business Manager Will Herzog. Herzog works for ReCommunity and oversees the MRF component of North Gateway, which involves recycling and reselling materials. “Everything that we’re making is used in manufacturing processes as a replacement for using virgin raw material,” Herzog explained. Herzog said that North Gateway processes between 150 to 200 tons of recycled material a day, each of which could be worth between $100 and $150. In addition to the business component, the MRF at North Gateway utilizes various technologies to make the sorting process more effective, many of which were adapted from machinery used in the food industry.  “We added an optical sorting system that allows us to capture…water and soda bottles automatically using a camera and ejection system,” Herzog said. “We’ve added a system that allows us to capture mixed broken glass and divert that away from the transfer station, and we’re able to sell that broken glass back to the glass market.”

On the waste side of the facility, the innovation is less in technology and more in public outreach. Hardy explained that while this portion of the facility follows industry standards, the educational component is unique.  “Most companies or anyone who deals with a transfer station, it’s about getting the garbage in and moving it out,” Hardy said. “The viewing gallery we have, you’re not going to find that kind of expense…it’s part of doing right by the public.” The viewing gallery Hardy describes extends the length of the main portion of North Gateway. On one side, visitors can view the MRF in full operation, complete with employees sorting the materials and bales getting shipped away. On the opposite side, viewers can look at the mounds of waste dropped off by enormous loaders.

“Within a 24 hour period, your garbage is in its final resting place,” Hardy said.  Terry Gellenbeck is a Solid Waste Administrative Analyst with Phoenix and leads tours through the viewing gallery, tours which consists of everything from grade school trips to college groups to simply curious residents. “The educational value…that’s far and above any that I know of,” Gellenbeck said. “To view both the garbage and the recycling side of it…that really helps with the marketing.”  Even with the innovations, the station faces the same challenges any large mechanical facility will.  Herzog explained that certain items, like hypodermic needles or garden hoses, sometimes get mixed in on the MRF side of things, posing a danger to employees. Hardy described an incident where a few employees experienced burning in their eyes after a can of pepper spray got into the machinery. While there have been no serious incidents, situations like these can shut down the facility so that repairs can be made.  “Because it is a manufacturing environment, things do break, and therefore we have to fix them,” Herzog said. “We work hard to spend our time and energy on the preventative side, because that’s a much more efficient way to operate the facility.”  Even with the innate challenges that come with a transfer station, Hardy said his team is efficient and works well.  “It’s a moving target,” he said. “We open our doors every day, we know the hours we’re open, but we don’t know how many customers we’re going to get. We have to be prepared for that moving target.”



 Sponsors needed for beverages, the band and gift cards.
Contact Jeanne Sapon jsapon@dbaconstruction.net


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