Rapid Removal and City of Trenton at odds over wastewater in trash

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The three-member utility committee, two other councilmen, Mayor, and other city officials last night heard Jim Watje (WAY-jee) of Rapid Removal Disposal inquire as to why Trenton will not accept wastewater, such as rainwater found with the trash.

He said the liquid goes into a holding tank and Rapid Removal is hauling it by truck every month to where it is accepted at Palmyra. Watje said when the Rapid Removal transfer station was put in operation back in 2015, he was told by the former city administrator and former utility superintendent that Trenton would except the liquid waste, however, it never happened. Current Utility Director Ron Urton said he spoke to both former officials who denied any knowledge of a making a promise, and he, Urton, could not find any written agreement or contract to allow it.

The reason, Urton said, involves concerns and potential risks to Trenton’s system as to what might be in the wastewater. If Trenton were to accept it into its system, a pre-treatment program would have to be developed and approved, permits obtained, and the process could be very costly to the city at a time major expenses are being incurred, and money borrowed, for several required improvements at the wastewater plant in Trenton.

It also was expressed testing and monitoring would have to be done to determine if leachate exists in water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents. Leachate results from precipitation (rainwater) entering the landfill from moisture that exists in the waste when it’s composed. Urton stated the city can legally refuse to accept it due to potential problems that it could cause with the existing wastewater treatment process and current permitting.

TMU is to send Rapid Removal a list detailing what the testing should include. The situation came to light when city hall received a payment from Rapid Removal for only a third of what it should have been. City ordinance requires Rapid Removal to pay a $2.00 per ton tipping fee.

Watje said the amount has added up to $102,000 his company has paid. When Octobers’ check was received, City Clerk Cindy Simpson said Rapid Removal this time, deducted $1,500 from what should have been payment of $2,300 to cover the tipping fee. The amount deducted was described as due to Rapid Removals’ expense for a truck and driver and the time it took to haul the liquid waste to Palmyra and return.