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Hydraulic oil and glass spills on City streets and in Gated Communities

By Michael Hahn posted 01-04-2021 04:13 PM

I'm the Solid Waste Manager for the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida. We have been experiencing an ongoing problem with hydraulic oil spills and glass spills on GSP side loaders.  With regards to glass spills, these trucks from my understanding weren't designed for recycling but rather, for the collection of solid waste. Is that true? The contractor is currently retrofitting these trucks to mitigate the glass spills.

Regarding hydraulic oil spills, as I write this, we had a large hydraulic spill in a gated community. And I don't know why, but the gated communities seem to get the lions share of the spills. We have quite a few of them so I suppose the law of averages would be in play. And... its never a small spill or leak. We have a private contractor doing our solid waste hauling. I'm asking the membership, what are your experiences with glass and oil spills. Is this relatively common? How do you or your contractor remediate the oil stains? What have you done as a Manager or Department Head to combat this problem? Does your municipality haul there own garbage or do you contract that out as we do? Thank you.
1 comment



02-08-2021 05:37 PM

Hi Michael, 

I'm the Solid Waste Superintendent in the City of Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada Our MSW is collected in-house using our own staff, both waste and compost. The curbside recyclable collection is contracted out. In regards to hydraulic staining, it does happen in both operations meaning our own collection and with the current recyclable contractor. This even with a newer collection fleet 2018-2020 and yes it never seems to fail in gated communities or new subdivisions! All trucks are equipped with a bag of absorbent (Oil-Dri or similar) and when the driver notices the leak we remove the truck from the route and dispatch a service truck to immediately apply the absorbent and work it in and eventually sweep up with a broom. This practice usually allows us to keep the clean up in-house and the residents happy. The trick is to get on it as quickly as possible. I wish I could say the same for the contractor as we can only suggest similar practices. 

In regards to glass, we have made glass a prohibited item in the curbside program due to safety of the collector and sorters. We do still accept this material at our recycle depot drop offs within the City. These depots acted as our entire recycle program prior to the rollout of curbside in 2018. Now it acts as an overflow for the curbside program when people exceed the cart size (95G),live in a multi-dwelling unit or have larger packaging from big ticket items. 

Take Care