Ensure your worksite is properly set up to prevent loss and assist cleanup.

FACILITIES – take the following steps wherever possible and practical:

  • To pave or not to pave – that is the question
    • A paved area facilitates cleanup, but allows pellets to be carried into storm drains and the environment by wind and water.
    • Unpaved areas are more difficult to clean, but pellets tend to stay where they fall and can be easily recovered

Choose the solution that is best for your facility.

  • Pave loading/unloading areas where unavoidable spills occur to facilitate cleanup
    • Include a slope or a berm to contain pellets within paved areas.
    • Equip areas with vacuums or brooms and dust pans.
    • Cordless vacuums may be best suited for outdoor cleanup.
  • For cleanup in gravel yards, consider fitting vacuums with screen or mesh on intake hoses to collect pellets without disturbing gravel.
  • Provide catch trays for use at all car/truck unloading valves.
  • Use bulk-handling equipment that is designed to minimize pellet leakage.
  • Install central vacuum systems where practical.
  • Install connecting hoses equipped with valves that will close automatically when the connection is broken.
  • Properly empty and seal bulk containers (rail or truck) prior to shipment. Loss of residual pellets from unsealed “empty” bulk cars and trucks is a significant problem.
  • Place pellet disposal cans at rail yards for loading and unloading.
  • Assure proper handling when storing and removing waste pellets. All vendors should follow “no loss to the environment” procedures.
  • Seal expansion joints in concrete floors with a flexible material to avoid pellet accumulation in hard to clean spaces.
  • Conduct routine inspections and maintenance of equipment used to capture and contain pellets.

Containment Systems

  • Storm drain screens are the last line of defense against accidental pellet release. They should be every facility’s # 1 priority for installation.
  • Install zero loss containment systems (such as storm drain screens) wherever necessary to prevent pellets from escaping plant boundaries. There are two possible containment systems that could be installed:
    • Area-specific containment systems in each pellet handling area. Area-specific containment systems would be the primary pellet containment systems and the facility-wide system would serve as a backup.
    • Facility-wide containment systems, which are effective in controlling pellet releases from facilities covering a large area and handling large volumes of pellets.
  • Place screening in all storm drains. The mesh of the screening should be smaller than the smallest pellet handled at the facility. Clean the storm drain screens weekly to prevent drain clogging and overflow. Pay particular attention to cleaning screens after every rain. Two-stage screens minimize clogging problems.
  • Install baffles, skirts and booms in containment ditches or ponds. Use surface skimmers or vacuum systems to remove accumulated pellets.
  • To prevent storm drain contamination, employ dry cleanup methods whenever possible. Dry cleanup procedures also prevent pellets from being further contaminated by compounds in the storm water.

Employee Equipment – ensure that employees have ready access to:

  • Brooms, dustpans, rakes, etc.
  • Heavy-duty shop vacuums for inside use
  • Portable shop vacuums for outside use
  • Catch trays or tarps
  • Wide-mouth sample collection jars or poly-bags
  • Tape for repairing bag or box damage
  • Scrap pellet containers (drums, bulk boxes, etc.)
  • Procedures you expect workers to undertake and checklists to assist in follow-through. (Checklists are available to customize).
  • Forklift cleanup kit (see page 19)
  • Assure that employees have ready access to the proper cleanup equipment at all locations where spills might occur

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Litter is not an issue of type of debris, but one of personal responsibility. We ALL share in the responsibility to prevent litter – stopping debris before it reaches our stormwater drains where it can drift to our oceans. Protect our oceans and we protect ourselves.