Depots play a vital role in many communities. Their primary functions include provision of waste management services in communities without curbside collection and handling of materials that aren’t collected curbside. They are typically configured as unattended drop off sites, attended mini transfer stations or part of a larger municipal waste facility.
This section explores better practices in siting, design and operating municipal depots focused on collection and management of recyclable materials.
Templates, Tools and Resources
In CIF Project 738, we developed a guide for depot operators that covers topics from siting and design to operations, capital costs and an activity based cost modeling. It is intended to be a comprehensive guide on how to plan and operate a blue box depot.
The CIF Activity Based Costing model is designed to help plan costs to expand, construct and operate depots that receive less than 500 tonnes per year (tpy) of recyclable materials. The model is a tool to enhance the Small Municipal Depot Guide – and this is a standalone, MS Excel version for your use.
If your program currently ships material in uncompacted 40 yd3 roll off bins, use this spreadsheet to estimate your annual program savings by installing a compactor. Simply input a few of your local program variables, like number of lifts etc., and the tool will estimate potential savings by using average compactor installation costs/savings obtained from previous CIF projects.
Programs that use depots to collect Blue Box materials can survey users to gain info that would be needed to apply for assistance for a more detailed waste composition study. In addition to obtaining important information about your program and your residents’ needs, this gives you another way to promote recycling, educate depot users, offer tips and answer their questions.
On CIF’s Waste Composition Studies webpage, you’ll find other resources that will help you learn which materials, residues and quantities are in your depot bins.