Waste transfer stations were traditionally designed to bulk up and compress wastes in the most efficient way possible, so that they could be cost effectively transported to a landfill site in larger vehicles. This enabled the waste collection vehicles, which are designed for stop/start operation, but not long haul, to continue their collection runs after disposing of their loads. Therefore little thought was given in terms of space or logistics for resource recovery.
This has been changing as recycling has been developing and most new transfer station designs, especially in rural areas, have designated bins and areas for resource recovery activities for. Pricing policies enable residential and some small commercial customers to dispose of separated materials at reduced or zero cost. The price differences between segregated wastes and mixed waste disposal encourage customers to separate their wastes before arriving at the facility. The variety of solutions adopted by regional councils in NSW and elsewhere are outlined in references such as the Handbook for Design and Operation of Rural and Regional Transfer Stations published by the Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)Error: Reference source not found