Volvo EC330B LC used by industrial waste disposal service in material solidification process
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn - If using the boom of a 38-ton excavator to stir a 30,000 gallon mixture of liquid waste and sawdust doesn't sound like a normal application for that machine, it's probably because it isn't. Just the same, that unusual job description is critical to the nation's top industrial waste management company.
According to Paul Rasmussen, General Manager of Chattanooga Operations for Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc, it's the Volvo EC330B LC that is the excavator of choice for that job.
"Our operators really rave about the Volvo's power and smoothness," Rasmussen said. "It's a more powerful machine that handles a bigger bucket and a bigger load. The Volvo is very productive."
Clean Harbors, headquartered in Braintree, Mass., is North America's largest provider of environmental & hazardous waste management services, with nearly 50 waste treatment facilities across the U.S. and Canada. Customers of Clean Harbors include many Fortune 500 firms, major utility companies and local, state and federal government agencies.
The Chattanooga operation specializes in turnkey treatment of non-hazardous, non regulated industrial waste. Some liquids can be treated at the site's wastewater treatment plant, while other liquids, sludges and solids must be solidified and stabilized before going to a Subtitle D landfill.
The Volvo EC330B LC in Chattanooga is used by operators in the stabilizing and solidifying of various kinds of non-EPA-regulated industrial waste. Typical waste products processed include petroleum, cutting oils, inks and dyes, landfill seepage, latex liquids and a wide range of solid materials.
The waste solidification process begins with materials being dumped by tanker or from truck into one of three steel lined, 30,000-gallon concrete cells.
"Depending on the material we're treating, we add sawdust, cement kiln dust or a synthetic polymer, using the excavator's boom to mix them together," Rasmussen said. When that material solidifies and dries, operators excavate it out of the cells onto a concrete staging area, and use the excavator again to load the mixture into dump trailers for transportation to a landfill.
To minimize damage to the steel liners of the mixing cells during excavation, Volvo has supplied Clean Harbors Chattanooga with a specially designed 2.38 yd3 "toothless" pin on bucket.
The tree-covered mountains that surround the Chattanooga plant and offer a beautiful landscape give no indication as to the type of working conditions within the plant. Rasmussen said those tough conditions push the Clean Harbors excavator to its limit.
"This is an extremely tough, dusty, gritty working environment," he said, noting that the EC330B LC has performed well under those conditions. "Sawdust and lime are very abrasive, and the lime mixture creates a very hot liquid that often heats up to over 200°F. The wear and tear on a machine can be severe."
As a result of the intense air filtration requirements, Rasmussen said Clean Harbors has instituted an aggressive filtermaintenance program for its equipment, which requires daily cleaning of the excavator's filtration system.
In addition to the daily system cleaning, the machine's air filter is replaced every two weeks, rather than at a more typical 45-60 day interval.