CHARLESTON COUNTY

SOUTH CAROLINA

Operational Assessment and Implementation

KCI evaluated the County’s solid waste collection operations and developed both short term and long term recommendations for operational improvements.  Recommendations addressed curbside collection, drop site, and household hazardous waste operations, including staffing, safety and compliance, productivity and cost reductions, operation planning, and continuity of operations/privatization.  KCI provided technical assistance in the implementation of all recommendations, including researching and updating Convenience Center equipment and operations. Compactor equipment upgrades and rolloff truck replacements modernized an aging system, and significantly reduced operating expenses.

Commercial / Institutional (C/I) Recycling Program

KCI designed and developed a C/I program plan and educational materials, including recycling and Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP) brochures, flyers, postcards, posters, presentations, and a comprehensive business guide.  KCI trained staff to perform visual waste assessments and container assessments to assist businesses maximize waste reduction and recycling.  To date staff has conducted over 800 waste assessments and added over 1,000 participants to the program based on the plan designed by KCI.

Customer Service Program

KCI developed a Customer Service program that includes incoming calls data tracking tools, Visio flow charts depicting proper call flow, and reports that chart call volume, origin, and purpose.  KCI participated in staff recruitment and provided training to customer service staff.  The customer service representative responds to over 1,000 calls per month.

Education & Tour Program

KCI developed an education awareness program for all recycling generator programs. KCI also revamped newsletter distributed twice annually to all County residents (140,000 households) and designed a Community Education Center located in the County MRF for use in school and public tours and educational events. Additionally, KCI prepared a PowerPoint presentation about the County’s program and facility fact sheets for all the operations and facilities that make up the County’s Integrated Solid Waste Management program.

Parks & Recreation Program

Based on a waste assessment conducted by KCI at Wannamaker Park/Whirlin Waters, the County’s largest nature-oriented park that contains the County’s largest water park, KCI recommended an expanded the recycling program that included additional recycling containers and signage to educate the public; this program is now serving as the model for all other County parks.  Based on the assessment conducted at the Whirlin Waters water park, KCI designed a food waste recovery program that is being implemented at the County’s three (3) water parks.  Approximately one (1) ton of food waste is collected from Whirlin Waters every two (2) weeks.

Public Spaces Program (Earth Day Festival)

KCI planned and produced events such as Earth Day to provide opportunities to educate the public about the County’s recycling programs, sustainability, and other environmental issues.  Earth Day now draws over 8,000 participants. The Earth Day event was designed to showcase the County’s integrated solid waste management program and its achievements, educate residents about existing reuse and recycling programs and plans for the future, increase awareness of other environmental programs in the low country and sustainability issues in a celebratory atmosphere.  The Festival is a hands-on, interactive experience with local musical talent designed to encourage festival participants to develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues.

Public Spaces Program (Large Venues)

KCI conducted a waste assessment at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center and made recommendations to expand the existing recycling program to include new employee training, an EPP program, and additional marketing to the public including web pages, advertising, and special events.  Additionally, the managers of these facilities have implemented many of the recommendations to improve recycling operational efficiencies and awareness to the public.

Residential Curbside Single Stream Program Education & Outreach

KCI assisted Charleston County to convert from a dual stream collection and processing system to single stream through a phased program. KCI was involved in the design of the collection operations program, developed all educational materials, and media/community outreach during the single stream rollout.  Educational materials included postcards, flyers, and an instructional brochure; outreach initiatives included press releases, media events, and presentations to Homeowners Associations.  Recycling participation overall increased in the expansion areas to over 70 percent after conversion to single stream.

Residential Multi-family Program

KCI designed a comprehensive multi-family residential program plan that targets property managers.  KCI developed a tool kit that includes a letter of introduction, recycling and right sizing flyers, waste assessment forms, and a partnership agreement.  KCI also developed a tool kit for residents that includes a newsletter, door hanger with refrigerator magnet, and an educational flyer.  As of August 2012, over 120 properties with over 570 units have begun participating in the program.

Schools K-12 Program 

Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) designed and helped implement a comprehensive program plan to reduce waste and maximize recycling in the 111 Charleston County School District (CCSD) properties and their occupants – students, teachers, and staff.  Program elements include container assessments and implementation kits for school administrators and Green Liaisons that include educational flyers, an EPP brochure, letter to parents, classroom tips, and order forms for recycling bins and additional resources.  All schools, including those located in rural areas, have now engaged in a formal partnership with Environmental Management and committed to active participation in the recycling program.

Phased Roll-out of Countywide Automated Residential Single Stream Recycling Collection

Based on the success of an automated residential single stream recycling pilot program, KCI designed and provided technical assistance during the implementation of a phased expansion of single stream recycling collection service.  The phased design address staffing, personnel, and resource management constraints.  KCI contributed to the design specifications and procurement of equipment including trucks, carts, containers, and compactors.  The original pilot included 4,598 households; Phase II included 5,624 households; Phase III included 12,025 households; and Phase IV included approximately 20,000 additional households.  Additional 20,000 home phases were deployed as processing capacity became available.

Automated Residential Single Stream Recycling Collection Pilot

KCI designed a six-month residential single stream recycling pilot program as part of the County’s efforts to achieve a 40 percent recycling goal.   KCI developed the first of its kind objective and quantifiable “Head to Head” pilot comparing two types of automated collection vehicles for testing – an automated side load (ASL) truck and a residential front-end load truck equipped with the Curotto Can system.  KCI had the trucks equipped with data management hardware coupled with a radio frequency identification (RFID) software system to quantitatively evaluate vehicle and equipment performance during the course of the pilot.  The pilot design included the development of standard operating procedures and a standard timeline to be used for a repeated, phased deployment plan.

KCI’s evaluation of the county yard waste composting facility identified numerous opportunities for improvement which addressed site design and layout, composting methodology, materials handling practices, staffing, productivity improvements and cost reduction. KCI has worked closely with county personnel to convert the facility into an award-winning showcase for food and yard waste composting. Accomplishments include:

• Redesigned and expanded the facility and modified composting methodology to handle all yard waste collected in the county which tripled its yard waste recycling rate.

• Increased compost quality by banning plastic bags.

• Improved compost operational efficiencies.

• Implemented a commercial food waste pilot program and then assisted with full-scale roll-out. The county has a 1,000 ton/week permit to handle food waste along with yard waste.

Commercial Food Waste Composting Program

With technical assistance from KCI, Charleston County won approval for the first food waste composting facility in the State of South Carolina; the facility can accept up to 1,000 tons per week. KCI designed and conducted a pilot first, then rolled out a countywide program that included hauler training, developed hauler and business generator information kits that include a Frequently Asked Questions, website page, restaurant kitchen flyers and other resources.  Incoming tons have grown over 380 percent during the first half of 2012.

Composting Program (Yard and Food Waste Program)

Based upon KCI’s analysis and recommendation, the County banned yard waste disposal in the C&D landfill, immediately doubling the recycling rate by composting 100 percent of the yard waste.  The County also banned plastic bags received at the compost facility, resulting in higher quality finished compost.  Along with improving compost operational efficiencies, KCI designed a food waste composting program and won Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) approval to expand the compost operation to include food waste.  Incoming yard waste tons have increased over 200 percent since 2008 and business food waste is now composted with yard waste.

AWARDS

2011

+ Carolina Recycling Association’s Award for Outstanding Composting Program

“Under KCI’s watch, we have tripled our recycling rate and cut $18 million from our annual solid waste budget. Outstanding!”

Teddie E. Pryor

Council Chairman, Charleston County, South Carolina

“KCI successfully recommended innovative approaches for system-wide changes to the County’s solid waste program that immediately increased operational efficiencies and resulted in significant cost savings to the County.”

Joe Dawson

Attorney, Charleston County, South Carolina

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