You are a Solid Waste Supervisor for your local municipality

#1   The Situation: You are a Solid Waste Supervisor for your local municipality and it is 3:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon prior to a much awaited four-day weekend. Temperatures have been running above normal for about 1-½ months now and the stress is beginning to show on your workforce, which is running at approximately 30% “no-show” rate. So, you have been filling in the workforce shortfalls by hiring day-labors from downtown, but still it is not enough. Your phone rings, one more time as it has done continuously since your arrival on the “early shift” this morning. You answer in your usual way, knowing that you are about to be blasted by yet another irate customer. As the customer on the other end of the phone starts in as you begin to take notes, shaking your head as you do so. The customer reports the following: “There is a 30 gallon garbage can sitting on the sidewalk in front of the customer's business that has an extremely foul odor

emanating from it. It has been there now for three days and it is beginning to smell quite ripe. This container, which is the customer's office trash receptacle, contains last week’s standard office trash but also extensive human waste deposits left in the can from evidently numerous individuals of the local homeless population.” The customer is calling to complain that this morning during their regularly scheduled MSW pickup, your employees refused to take the contents of the can.

The Questions:

1. Did your employees conduct themselves properly by refusing to take the contents of the receptacle?

2. Are the contents of the receptacle classified as Solid Waste?

3. Are there any special handling considerations for this receptacle?

4. How do you respond to the customer and what do you do next?





#2   The Situation: You are the Safety Director for a medium sized municipality. Part of the municipality that you serve is an electric utility, complete with power transmission and distribution service to 265 square-mile electric grid. One day, one of your Safety Officers, who serves this electric utility, comes into your office with a substation construction foreman. They inform you that at a particular substation the utility has had to make some expansions to cover the growing needs of the community. To do so they have to erect a control house at the substation to contain all the necessary breakers and electrical components necessary to run the grid. The control house must remain stable and considering that the substation is built on top of a former city landfill that has been closed for the past 35 years; pilings need to be installed. Each piling is 3 feet in diameter and must go down into the ground 30 feet. They did not see the necessity of pulling a

permit to do this work because, “hey, it's all city property. Since they have been drilling, however, the substation construction foreman's men have been complaining of the foul odors and are concerned now for their health. However, this concern does not seem to apply to one who is actively collecting and subsequently selling on E-Bay; what he considers to be antique bottles that are being pulled up as part of the drilling process.

The Questions:

1. Is it permissible to disturb the clay cap without a permit?

2. Are there health issues involved and if so what can be done to protect the employees that are working on site?

3. If there are no health issues involved, why not?

4. What steps would you take to deal with the antique bottle situation?


    • Posted: 5 years ago
    You are a Solid Waste Supervisor for your local municipality
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