Monthly Archives: August 2006

SWMP inspection transmittal letter

DIVISION OF _______________
File Number:




Re: City of NAME Municipal Solid Waste Facility Inspection of Month dd, 19nn

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for assisting ____ and me with the inspection of the Council dump on [date]. A copy of the inspection checklist and photos is enclosed.

This year the facility rated a [23%] compliance with standards for safe and healthy solid waste management at Class III landfills in Alaska (## out of 126 possible points). Ratings below 80% are generally regarded as unsatisfactory. (Had the record keeping requirements been met, the facility would rate ##% compliance.) The current dump is not designed and operated as a sanitary landfill. Nevertheless, there are immediately feasible improvements in operations that might help.

We talked about several remedies the Council can initiate for immediate relief as well as for longer-term relief [such as a new landfill, tentatively planned for 3.5 miles away, at_____]. In general, the following steps would provide some improvement in the environmental health situation


Please call (tel. #) or write if you have questions about the inspection. Let me or _____ (telephone #) know what further technical assistance we can offer, including working with you and the Council on the community’s solid waste management program.


Environmental Specialist
email address

Community Municipal Solid Waste Facility [YEAR] Field Inspection Checklist
[Interim Solid Waste Management items, if relevant]

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SWMP field inspection form

The original hard copy inspection form was reformatted for consistency and accuracy. It was also intended for use by people who did not ordinarily inspect rural landfills (e.g., IHS engineers, department sanitarians, local community).

The form was setup as a MS Word template so each community’s inspection would have a fresh form. There’s cheat sheet notes to correlate the inspection checklist item with the relevant regulation [no longer accurate]. At the office end, it was nice to find all the needed information in the same place on each of the forms in each of the community files. (Also, made it easier to transfer to an electronic database.) MS Word allowed “keywords” to be added to the document properties which corresponded to the “categories” of MS Outlook. I developed a standardized set of these categories which enabled integration of the information across the contacts database, hard copy file, and statewide landfill database.

The document is here as a regular MS Word document.
click to save | Rural Solid Waste Landfill Field Inspection form |

The original field form was kept in the central office file. A final copy of the form was returned to the community and one kept with the report in the central office.

Click thumbnail below to see form in actual use–

SWMP Field rating guidelines

Example of guidelines to accompany the rural inspection form. The reasoning behind the ratings as well as the relevant statutes were noted.

1. Permit or Solid Waste Management Plan:

Goal: Class III permits or solid waste plans provide guidance for safe siting, operation and closure of landfills which protect health and the environment.

Reason: Many rural landfills have been open dumps with no control of dumping, including hazardous materials, and no soil cover to control disease vectors or wildlife scavenging. Litter and odor have been a problem, as has dumping into wetlands. Adherence to the stipulations of permits and plans reduces these problems.

Rating Guidelines: (Maximum of 10 points)

    (10) A current approved Class III Permit or Solid Waste Management Plan exists for the facility.

    ( 0) No plan or permit exists for the facility.

Regulation: A solid waste permit is required for disposal of solid waste, and for the construction and operation of a landfill or a solid waste treatment facility (18 AAC 60.200(1)). For communities that cannot meet the requirements of 18 AAC 60, the Department will accept a Solid Waste Management Plan in lieu of a permit to construct a new facility (ADEC Field Directive, November 30, 1990).

2. Limited Access:
Goal: Access to a sanitary landfill shall be limited to those times when an attendant is on duty and only for disposing of solid waste.

Reason: If public access to the site is not controlled, scavenging, burning, shooting and indiscriminant dumping commonly occur.

Rating Guidelines: (Maximum of 5 points)

    (5) Access to the site by unauthorized persons is prohibited at all times. The landfill area is surrounded by a fence with a locking gate. Hours of operation are scheduled.

    (3) Site is surrounded by berms or is partially fenced. A gate is present but is not locked. Hours of operation are scheduled.

    (1) A gate is present, but no berms or fences present to control access. Gate is unlocked, or if locked, people drive around it. Hours of operation are scheduled.

    (0) No effort is made to control access to the site.

Regulation: Control public access to the site. If the site is on a major road system, unauthorized vehicles must be prevented from dumping there. This may be done by berms, fencing, and gates (18 AAC 60.220(1,2)).

etc. See SWMP field inspection form

Moravian Resource Center Curriculum Links

I ran across this resource for those in charge of Sunday Schools when I was with the Moravian Book Store project.

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Menu to Midden: Human food system

menu meal midden model © 1985, mpb

This model is a means for visualizing the place garbage has in our lives. We can also use this model to understand how changes in diet, the environment, and the social system feed [sic] into one another: past, present, and future.

The left side of the diagram refers to extrasomatic (outside the body) elements. The right side of the diagram refers to internal or analytical components.

The menu is all items from the environment that people in the community could consume. [Think of going to the produce and meat sections of the grocery store.]

The meal is the combination of some, not all, available items and their processing into food (processing such as cooking, salting, drying, etc.). The meal is the component which principally defines the others. [What is chosen for a meal is eaten by an individual. What isn’t in the meal is thrown away (midden). What isn’t eaten isn’t used by the person’s body (and frequently thrown away). What isn’t metabolized is thrown away / flushed away from the person.] Different people in a culture may have different meals, made from the same menu of foodstuffs (baby food vs. wedding food or Christmas dinner or parenteral nutrition).

The midden is our garbage dump / sanitary landfill. Items which were gleaned from the environment — then transformed culturally, physically, and chemically — are returned to the environment.

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