Integrated Solid Waste Operations Review and Assessment
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The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) manages over a million tons of solid waste annually through an integrated regional network of waste processing, transfer, and disposal facilities in the Columbus, Ohio region.

Following a major turnover in executive management, SWACO was interested in a top-to-bottom review of their organization so that they could assure their stakeholders that the organization could continue its mission well into the future. In support of this goal, SWACO retained Geosyntec to provide an independent assessment of their solid waste operations, financial planning, staff organization and maintenance operations. This included a review of their landfill and transfer station operations, landfill gas (LFG) system operations, heavy equipment maintenance, capital projects planning, financial reporting, in-house engineering support, and overall organization of their operations.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Geosyntec conducted a records review and on-site review and assessment, including personnel interviews and surveys, of SWACO's operations. Facilities reviewed included SWACO's operating and closed landfills, LFG systems at both landfills, and two transfer stations. Issues of focus included:  landfill and transfer station operational procedures, landfill gas collection system operation, equipment procurement and maintenance, personnel organization, financial planning, financial reporting, and capital projects procedures. To execute the work, Geosyntec brought in a team of senior professionals with decades of experience in all of the review areas. Based on our extensive experience with landfill finances and operations, as this work was completed, we were able to quickly gain a high-level understanding of the organization, identifying both strengths and weaknesses of operational and financial practices and procedures versus typical industry standards and benchmarks. With this information, we made several presentations to SWACO management to help them identify a plan and schedule for implementing changes to their organizational structure, overhauling budgeting procedures and cash flow tracking systems, and improving data collection and management systems. We also provided SWACO with a revised capital planning model and risk management approach.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec's review was used by our client to effectively gain an understanding of where their operations were generally well-run as well as identify areas where improvements could be made. The experience and understanding of our professionals with practical solid waste operations and financing allowed Geosyntec to develop prioritized, actionable recommendations to our client for improving operational efficiency and long-term planning with the ultimate goal of achieving an optimized operation that will remain strong well into the future.

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Project Summary

  • Location: Franklin County, Ohio
  • Client: Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
  • Project Practice Areas: Waste Management
  • Type of Facility: Landfill and transfer facility
  • Services Provided: Capital planning review; Financial analysis and modeling; Operations review; Organizational review; Risk management
  • Type of Work: Advisory services
  • Governing Regulation: Solid waste authority