In February, GBB will be moving to new, state-of-the-art offices a few miles from the current headquarters in the Washington, DC-metropolitan area. You can still reach us at the same phone numbers; the new address will be:
Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. 2010 Corporate Ridge,
McLean, VA 22102
Also, starting in January 2017, John Carlton, GBB Senior Vice President, will be based out of Irvine, CA.
Innovative Way to Promote Environmental Education in Prince Williams County, VA
In October 2016, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place in Prince Williams County, VA, to unveil three new outdoor classrooms serving to support environmental education and awareness. The classrooms are one piece of a larger environmental education movement in the County which includes building the Eco-Park Complex. The 1,000-acre Eco-Park Complex encompasses the landfill, athletic fields, Outdoor Discovery Trails, wetlands, streams, gas collection and energy production and a recycling facility. GBB is very proud of having helped the County plan and develop this complex.
The classroom project began with the Solid Waste Citizens Advisory Group’s interest in enhancing environmental education in the County. The implementation was a collaborative effort by Prince William County Schools, the county’s Solid Waste Division, the county’s parks and recreation department, Dominion Power, and Boy Scout Troop 1195, with help from youth volunteers to actually build the classrooms.
Learn more about the Eco-Park and the innovative outdoor classrooms initiative at:
Inside NoVa article
"Processing Equipment and Recovery, from MRFs to MWPFs"
In September, GBB Senior Project Engineer Brad Kelley presented at the Waste360 Recycling Summit, as part of the session entitled "The Limits to Recycling - Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Recycling."
He talked about the major types of processing equipment and concluded with some data on estimated recovery by commodity for both MRFs and MWPFs.
Click here to view a PDF of the presentation >
Recent GBB Assignments
In the past few months, GBB has been selected for several new assignments, including:
Landfill Asset Valuation
City of Arlington, TX
Curbside Collection Procurement
City of Fort Wayne, IN
Yard Debris Collection Assessment
City of Hartsville, SC
Conceptual Study for Biomass Facility
Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians, CA
System Assessment and Recycling Study
Muskegon County, MI
We very much appreciate the opportunity to assist these clients with their needs.
We invite you to follow, and like, GBB on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to automatically get the latest news and info!
8550 Arlington Boulevard
Fairfax, VA 22031
starting in Februry 2017:
2010 Corporate Ridge
McLean, VA 22102
GBB’s Guidance Leads to Improved Recycling and Streamlined Operations
Over the past 36 years, GBB has helped hundreds of local governments / authorities, and private-sector clients -- in 45 states and internationally -- develop and implement solid waste management plans and programs that include comprehensive recycling programs. This advice has resulted in improved services, reduced costs, and countless tons per year being diverted from landfills to recycling channels.
Being environmentally responsible is of utmost importance to GBB. Since we are a solid waste management consulting firm, we make every effort to practice what we preach. "Reduce / reuse / recycle" is a philosophy that GBB uses in its business as often as possible. Some of the simple, but important, initiatives that we undertake as a business on a daily basis to maximize our positive environmental and social impact include:
- Printing documents only when necessary and when needed, printing double-sided;
- Purchasing and using recycled content paper products for all output;
- Using “scrap paper” for note taking;
- Using the other side of printed one-sided sheets for internal drafts;
- Printing corporate brochures on recycled paper, FSC certified;
- Multiple paper recycling bins and recycling bins for other recyclables throughout the office and encouraging employees to maximize recycling;
- Using reusable glasses and mugs instead of disposable cups for beverages;
- Tradeshow giveaways are biodegradable highlighters;
- Distributing newsletters electronically instead of mailing a hard copy;
- Turning off computers, copiers and lights when not in use; and
- Corporate recycling program including paper, cardboard, containers, electronics, printer cartridges, etc.
But what we are the most proud of is helping communities and businesses plan and implement initiatives that will ultimately result in large-scale recycling programs. Some of this year’s projects include:
Rethinking Waste for a Greener Fort Worth, TX
As part of the development of the City’s 20-year comprehensive solid waste management plan, a new goal was put in place to move the diversion rate needle from 24% to 40% of residential waste away from the landfill through recycling and other programs. Read more about this exciting initiative in the feature below.
Research for Single Stream Recycling Facility in the Southern Chesapeake Bay Region, MD
GBB provided research and assistance as the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) considered offering Single Stream processing capabilities for the area around the Southern Chesapeake Bay and the Southeast coastal region in Maryland and potentially some areas of southern Delaware. MES needed assistance with researching additional information on the current practices for collecting recyclables, available recyclables, logistics, processing, costs, and a development strategy to implement a new facility for single stream processing and marketing services.
Development of Solid Waste Strategic Plan in Rutherford County and the City of Murfreesboro, TN
Rutherford County is one of the top five most populated counties in Tennessee, and its population growth is expected to be the highest in the state, going from the current 300,000 to 420,000 by 2030. The County provides solid waste disposal/recycling services to its residents through 14 Recycling Centers, and electronic waste disposal/recycling services through the Rutherford County Recycle Center. It also owns and operates the Rutherford County Landfill, a Class III/IV facility expected to reach capacity within four years. The City of Murfreesboro, which is the County seat and geographic center of Tennessee, operates one convenience center and provides residential curbside garbage and yard waste collection services. It also operates the Murfreesboro Mulch facility to manage yard waste and brush. For municipal solid waste disposal services, the County and the City receive free disposal services for approximately 80,000 tons per year from residential solid waste at the locally-available private landfill and additional hose community fees through host community agreement.
GBB, with local subcontractors TriAD Environmental Consultants and Cooley Public Strategies, LLC, started the work to prepare a solid waste strategic plan that identifies and evaluates organizational structures, services, and available technologies to manage the community’s solid waste management needs for the next 20 to 40 years, including initiatives to enhance recycling efforts.
| Kate Vasquez (GBB Senior Consultant),
along with Lori Scozzafava (GBB Vice President), near beautiful Lake Michigan
in Muskegon County last August.
Recycling Study in Muskegon County, MI
The GBB Project Team performed a study examining and reviewing Muskegon County’s solid waste management system. Initially, the team generated baseline data and a framework for future reporting, including a recycling rate. In addition to supporting the County in compliance with new legislation, it provided a quantitative means for evaluating present and future recycling and waste reduction activity. As part of the assignment, GBB also provided recommendations for system improvements, including recycling, procurement, services provision, and program evaluation.
Recyclables and Yard Waste Collection Efficiency Analysis in Aiken, SC
As a subcontractor to Smith+Gardner, GBB evaluated the efficiency of the City’s yard waste and recyclables collection programs. An economic model of the current recyclables and yard waste collection system was created, providing summary estimates of the labor and maintenance costs along with the summary capital expense of running the recyclables and yard waste collection program. The Project Team provided estimates and assumptions about what would be needed for the City to improve costs of the recyclables and yard waste collection system. Additionally, an operational and economic model for yard waste system was developed for the City’s next budget period. The findings from the Project Team’s analysis provided the City with an opinion on the potential cost savings and benefits of an improved recyclables and yard waste collection system.
Recycling and Refuse Service Telephone Survey in the City of Broken Arrow, OK
The GBB Project Team conducted a randomized, statistically significant telephone survey of the residents of the city about their attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and engagement regarding their curbside garbage service, recycling, and the bag voucher system. The intent of the project was to gather information that could be used to make decisions about future revisions to the residential solid waste collection system , with a particular interest in adding curbside recycling service, and in the billing/payment method (i.e., volume-based billing).
Facility Evaluation for the H.E. Butt Family Foundation Camp, San Antonio, TX
The H.E. Butt Foundation camp, a retreat facility in the Hill Country of Texas, 2 hours west of San Antonio, tasked GBB with evaluating both waste generation and waste management, and how those activities can further the intentions of the facility and return value to the Earth.
As part of the assignment, GBB visited the camp, observed waste generation and waste management activities, reported on the current systems, and provided ideas for improvements that will lead to increased recycling and greater system efficiencies.
Rethinking Waste for a Greener Fort Worth
The City of Fort Worth has a tradition, going back almost 50 years, of being proactive in waste management, and is dedicated to providing residents with opportunities to divert, recycle, and reuse. As such, in 2014 it started the process, with GBB’s assistance, to develop a comprehensive 20-year solid waste management plan aimed at performing several functions:
- Make a purposeful effort to re-think and re-evaluate the very notion of “waste”;
- Create a comprehensive approach to the management of Fort Worth’s MSW which deals with the city’s MSW globally rather than with only some of its sectors;
- View the management of solid waste in Fort Worth from a systemic rather than an atomized way; and,
- Identify and seize potential synergies with other City departments and outside agencies.
To assist in the development of the plan, GBB performed the following key tasks:
- Data Gathering and Analysis
- Identification and Evaluation of Alternatives
- Public Outreach
- Strategic Planning / Recommendations
- Present and Future Funding Strategies Analysis
- 20-Year Implementation Plan / Capital Improvement Plan
- Disaster Debris Management Plan
As part of the process, extensive public outreach efforts were conducted in 2015 to garner opinions and insight regarding the interest of residents and stakeholders in solid waste and other environmental issues. The public outreach report has been made public by the City and the graphic shown here illustrates the environmental issues most important to residents responding to a City survey.
In August 2016, the draft plan was presented to the City Council, which was followed by a public comment period in the fall. The final plan will be presented to the Fort Worth City Council for approval in early 2017.
A key element of the “Rethinking Waste for a Greener Fort Worth” initiative is its goal to divert 40% percent of residential waste away from the landfill through recycling and other programs. As a point of reference, the city diverted 7% of its waste prior to 2003 and 24% in 2013.
Drawing on feedback from the public, input from the City, and solid waste industry experience, including best practices, the recommendations report, included in the plan, is organized into 5 key categories:
- Services to Residents
- Services to Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Customers
- Services to the Community
- Solid Waste Management Facilities
- Solid Waste Services Division Activities
Some of the key residential green initiatives include encouraging more reuse and donation opportunities, an additional drop-off station, the conversion of solid waste vehicles to compressed natural gas, evaluation and incentives offered for backyard composting, evaluation of residential food waste and residential yard waste collection for composting, and segregating brush from bulk collection.
Key commercial green initiatives include requiring that private haulers offer recycling to all establishments, working with businesses to curb improperly managed on-premise trash, establishing access to the City contracted Recycling Center by private haulers, and working with the Planning and Development Department to establish a program to encourage incentives that foster a means to increase diversion or recovery of building construction and demolition materials.
For more information about the initiative, and to see the draft plan, visit: www.fortworthtexas.gov/swplan/
Long-Term Planning and Service Procurement in Baton Rouge, LA
GBB was recently selected by the City of Baton Rouge / Parish of East Baton Rouge, LA (City-Parish), to develop a solid waste strategic plan and manage a procurement process for services to be implemented in March 2018. Joining GBB in this important effort are technology partner C2Logix, and local partners Emergent Method, Civil Solutions Consulting Group, and Southern Media & Opinion Research, Inc.
The City-Parish, which spans 470 square miles with a population of approximately 446,042, provides a broad array of solid waste management services to approximately 126,000 residents and multi-family residential units. Currently, the City-Parish contracts out for approximately $32 million per year for the set of services its solid waste enterprise relies upon, and is in the first year of a two-year contract extension for garbage, recycling, and woody waste processing contractors, set to expire in February 2018.
| Susan Hamilton, Director of Recycling, City of Baton Rouge / Parish of East Baton Rouge, LA, with GBB President Harvey Gershman, after receiving the 2007 Outstanding Public Education Award from the National Recycling Coalition.
Planning for the long term, the City-Parish is undertaking a very important effort that will affect all residences and perhaps businesses in Baton-Rouge and in the surrounding region to some extent. The City-Parish wants to ensure that the right service is what is contracted out, and to verify that the vendors will provide the quality of service, and quality of life, they pledged to the residents of Baton Rouge. The evaluation, review, and recommendations provided by the GBB Project Team in the strategic plan will inform the requirements of the procurement documents released for the various services, in addition to empowering the City-Parish’s solid waste/recycling managers to pursue best practices and implement them efficiently. Some key elements of the project include:
- Review of Existing System / Stakeholders Meetings
- Best Practices Benchmarking
- Review of Alternatives
- Public Survey / Public Meetings
- Preparation of Strategic Plan
- RFP Preparation and Process Oversight
GBB has past experience with the solid waste management landscape in Baton Rouge through its work in 2004 to conduct a comprehensive strategic review of the City-Parish’s collection system and procurement of garbage/trash collection, recycling collection and trash processing services.