The Eagle County Landfill has done some savvy vehicle shopping that is projected to save the county $80,000 to $100,000 per year by 2013.On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the Eagle County Commissioners approved the purchase of a new compactor vehicle that is smaller than the current one. The old one has already been rebuilt once during its time with the county. A compactor vehicle is heavy equipment used for packing down trash in the landfill to squeeze out air pockets and maximize space.“We don’t have as much tonnage coming into the landfill so we don’t need as big of a compactor, and a smaller one is cheaper to operate and maintain,” said Ken Whitehead, director of Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling. “Money was already being set aside in previous years to replace the large compactor we have now, which would cost $750,000, and one of my operators had the idea to go with this smaller one that costs $367,000.”The old compactor is a CAT 836 that weighs about 61 tons. The new one is a BOMAG 472 RB that weighs about 26 tons.“Because of the money that was already being put aside and with the lower cost of the BOMAG, we will basically have two compactors paid for,” Whitehead said. “We will be saving a lot of money and doing it quickly.”Whitehead said his operators went to a landfill in New Mexico to test drive the BOMAG and gave it a thumbs up. “The good thing about times when money is tight is that it’s easier to get a good deal like this from companies as they try to be more competitive,” Whitehead said of the BOMAG’s purchase price, which comes with a five-year, 10,000-hour, bumper-to-bumper warranty.Regarding the drop in tonnage coming into the landfill, Whitehead said 2007 was the peak, which saw a total of 115,000-plus tons come in. That amount has since dropped dramatically. Whitehead is anticipating a total of 62,000 tons next year — a 46 percent drop from 2007.“Less material coming across our scales translates as less income for the landfill and we’re having to do more with less,” Whitehead said.The most dramatic drop was 2008 to 2009. The landfill’s total intake went from 106,000 tons to 90,000.The biggest factor in the decline is construction and demolition waste, which is projected to be a mere 13,000 tons in 2013. That’s a drop of 75 percent from 2007 when 51,000 tons of C&D waste came in.Municipal waste is anticipated to be down only 25 percent from 2007, with 40,000 tons compared to 53,000 tons.“The amount of municipal waste doesn’t change much,” Whitehead said.As for the old CAT, there is plenty of time to decide what to do with it. Whitehead said it could be auctioned off for at least $200,000 or stored for later use, should it be needed again.
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