Dictionary: A transfer station is a building or a processing site for the temporary deposition of waste. Transfer stations are often used as places where the public and local waste collection vehicles deposit their waste prior to compaction and/or collection by a larger vehicle. These larger vehicles transport the waste to the point of disposal, be that landfill, composting or sorting/recycling facility. Transfer stations may also be known as “Resource Recovery Parks”
Diversion at a transfer station
Many different materials can be diverted from the route towards landfill, at a transfer station.
check with your local council or private transfer station as acceptable materials will vary from site to site, see our pages for member councils
The following materials may be accepted.
Bottles in glass and plastic codes 1 and 2
Scrap metal (but not fencing wire)
gib (gypsum plasterboard)
Giftware, Knick-knacks, household tools and utensils
The advantages of a transfer station are:
- It is more convenient for the public to use a transfer station which has good access roads and paved area for depositing waste, rather than the landfill site itself which is often muddy and generally more unpleasant.
- Transfer stations are designed and managed with public safety in mind.
- A reduction of traffic at the landfill. Only large commercial waste haulage vehicles should enter the landfill tipping site direct. Smaller waste firms and the public use the transfer station and this reduces pressure on the landfill access roads
- Less working area at the tip face is required and this allows for better environmental control and capping at the landfill.
- Because the refuse is compacted at the transfer station, it provides a greater payload for the transfer trailers and reduces the number of truck trips that need to be made to the landfill.
Transfer stations accept a range of waste streams from the general public. They may have facilities for the disposal of green waste for composting, bins for recyclable materials, as well as a hazardous materials shed, and collection of reuseable items.
The major hazard of some transfer stations is the possibility of people falling over the edge into the pit. For this reason, some operators are establishing ‘flat floor’ areas, where waste is placed on the flat area before the pit, and is then pushed into the pit by a loader or contractor's specialised vehicle. This significantly reduces the ‘fall in the pit’ hazard for the public.
Fees and Charges
Many transfer stations have weighbridges, to allow for accurate recording of tonnes of materials diverted, and to weigh materials heading to landfill. Charges in this case are by weight. Other charges may rely on estimated or measured volume, or the vehicle size.
Check your local council for details of fees and charges. If they are members of this site their page will include a ink to current fees.