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February Upfront News & Views

February Upfront News & Views

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    To locate a plastic bag recycling program in your community, visit www.plasticbagrecycling.org. To learn more about promoting in-store recycling programs, visit the American Chemistry Council's Progressive Bag Affiliates at www.americanchemistry.com.

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    The city of Portage, Mich., is looking for the best possible solution for cleaning a large-diameter culvert with difficult access at both ends. Photo: City of Portage, Mich.

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    Bret Hodne, acting director/superintendent of the West Des Moines Department of Public Works, spearheaded a project to build a regional salt storage facility. Photo: Bret Hodne

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    The Highway Trust Fund collected $3 billion less last year than in 2007 for total receipts of $31 billion. Federal transportation spending for 2008 rose by $2 billion.

Asphalt emulsion manual

The Asphalt Institute and the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association released the 4th edition of MS-19, The Basic Asphalt Emulsion Manual. The illustrated manual covers testing, grades, and uses; best-practice guides and troubleshooting lists; and a glossary and index.

Iowa DOT launches GPS network

In addition to surveying, the 80 Leica Geosystems stations positioned across the state can be used to monitor the real-time movement of bridges and dams, support machine control activities on road construction projects, and play a role in accident reporting of police departments.

Web site launched for NEMN members

In addition to news and information, www.nemn.net includes a free demonstration about strengthening procedures that members of the National Emergency Management Network have already developed. Local governments can also use the Web site to join the network.

NSWMA selects leadership

The National Solid Wastes Management Association re-elected Jim Perry as chair and elected Donald Williamson as vice chair. Perry is president/CEO of Waste Industries USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C.; Williams is president of West Central Sanitation, Wilmar, Minn.

Engineering firms change names

JGI Eastern Inc. and Zipper Zeman Associates (ZZA) are now Terracon Consultants Inc., after operating as Terracon subsidiaries for two and three years, respectively. JSI offers consulting services in geotechnical engineering, hydrogeology, construction materials, engineering, and testing. ZZA provides geotechnical, environmental, and construction materials services in the Northwest.

Ampacet joins Alliance

Ampacet Corp., a producer of color and additive master batches for HDPE pipe, has joined the Alliance for PE Pipe, an organization addressing the issues of North American water conservation and water infrastructure. The organization's efforts largely are educational and are designed to provide insight to municipalities about polyethylene pipe products.

Cities join forces to manage winter suppliesOperations

Last season's heavy snows left many cities and counties out of salt by February and miners tapped out by March. Instead of waiting to see when reserves will run out this season, nine communities in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro area pooled resources to create a regional salt storage facility that holds up to 22,000 tons.

The second of two storage buildings was completed last month, and communities with previously limited capacities had enough salt to avert shortages in December and January.

“This is our way to ensure that we have supplies in place at the beginning of the season,” says Bart Weller, director of the Clive (Iowa) Public Works Department.

The facility is located on land owned by the Metro Waste Authority, which serves all nine communities. The authority loaned the $1.2 million needed to construct the buildings, while also allowing use of its land rent-free. Participating communities share the responsibility of maintaining the buildings.