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Workers construct the steel frame of the new transfer station building Sept. 10. Courtesy | City of Hillsdale
Workers con­struct the steel frame of the new transfer station building Sept. 10. Courtesy | City of Hillsdale

The Hillsdale Transfer Station will be closed until early October due to the con­struction of a new building at the facility, which Modern Waste Systems and the City of Hillsdale operate.

This new building will replace the pre­vious structure which was con­structed in the early 1980s, according to Director of the Hillsdale Department of Public Ser­vices, Jake Hammel.

“It was just time to replace it. Struc­turally, it had started to fail,” Hammel said.

Specif­i­cally, he said, the building had endured struc­tural damage from years of use. Rust, cor­rosion, and a bent internal structure had ren­dered repairs imprac­tical, according to Hammel.

A con­sultant engineer was con­cerned the structure would be inca­pable of enduring a heavy load of snow during the winter, he said.

“It was just painfully obvious it needed to be taken care of, just to make us feel good that it wasn’t going to fall down in the very near future,” said Hammel.

He said the new building, which is taller than the old one, cost the city roughly $300,000.

“We have to have a building suitable for our municipal waste service con­tractors to work in,” said Sam Fry, Mar­keting and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Coor­di­nator for the Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities.

Hammel said the steel structure is likely to be com­pleted by the end of the week, after which con­tractors will install the building’s elec­trical system and doors.

City offi­cials are opti­mistic that the project will be com­pleted between early and mid-October, according to Fry.

The Department of Public Ser­vices hopes to prevent the new building from wearing down as the pre­vious building did, said Hammel. 

“We intend to have, at least quar­terly, walk-throughs with Modern Waste – as they’ll be the operator out there – just keeping track of damage and making sure we can get there in a timely fashion,” he said.

The walk-throughs are designed to allow quick repairs to any damage, which he hopes will allow the building to last longer.

“The new building has a couple of fea­tures that should help it last longer,” said Fry. “The big thing is, it’s going to have a double con­crete floor.”

When heavy equipment runs over the floor, the metal can wear down the con­crete. Fry said this is the reason for adding a double con­crete floor. When wear-and-tear erodes the first layer, he said, the floor can be fixed without removing the entire base of the building.

The transfer station has been closed for con­struction since July 12, 2021. 

While the station is closed, the public will not be able to dispose of their waste at this location. The city gov­ernment rec­om­mends the public either sign up for a trash col­lection service, or dispose of their waste at another facility. 

The city website refers readers to the Modern Waste Systems col­lection service, which includes weekly trash col­lection and bi-weekly recy­cling col­lection for a price of $14 per month.

For those who prefer not to sign up for a col­lection service, the city included a list of alter­native waste dis­posal loca­tions on their website. Such facil­ities include Modern Waste Systems (7245 S. Brooklyn Road, Jackson), Republic Ser­vices C&C Landfill (14800 P‑Drive N, Mar­shall), the Jef­ferson Township Transfer Station (3255 Pioneer Road, Osseo), and Liberty Landfill (7900 S. Meridian Road, Clark Lake).