4/25/2017 1:32:00 PM Cass County Board: Recycling costs increase with use
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
BACKUS-It costs Cass County about twice as much to get rid of recyclables as it does its garbage, Environmental Services Director John Ringle told the county board Tuesday as he presented the 2016 solid waste annual report.
The county meets or exceeds most years a state requirement that it recycle 35 percent of its solid waste, according to Solid Waste Officer Paul Fairbanks.
Overall volume has been stable the last five years, but recycling volume has increased recently, partially because more people are bringing in their old electronics, Ringle said.
The volume of municipal solid waste (garbage) has declined.
Revenue for county's solid waste program comes from state SCORE funds (governor's select committee on recycling and the environment), tip fees garbage haulers pay to dump garbage at the transfer station, a $66 charge the county places on each developed property's property tax bill annually and a small amount from some recyclable material sales.
It cost the county just under $2.5 million for solid waste disposal in 2016. The program generated just under $2.8 million in revenue. Despite increases in disposal costs, Ringle said, the increased number of developed properties paying assessment fees with their property taxes has risen enough for revenue to keep pace.
Cass County owns a primary solid waste transfer site just north of Pine River on Highway 371 and two smaller sites. One is just north of Hackensack. The other is in May Township. Private contractors operate all the county facilities and haul the waste.
Slagle Transfer Site, located east of Longville is privately owned and operated and is permitted by the county. Slagle's site also accepts demolition debris.
In addition to these facilities, the county contracts with vendors to offer 43 recycle-only bins at locations throughout the county.
Cass County's contract with Stockman Transfer to operate the main processing facility by Pine River was transferred to KR Drenth Trucking of Illinois in September 2016 when KDR purchased Stockman's business. Stockman employees remained under the new ownership.
There are 20 county-licensed haulers who pick up garbage from private properties and haul it to Pine River. Cass has a contract with Waste Management to haul garbage from Pine River to Elk River. Its final disposal is in a landfill there.
KDR arranges contracts to dispose of most of the recyclable items brought to Pine River. Some bring in revenue. Some require paying for disposal. Some require KDR to share income exceeding a certain price level with the county.
In addition to garbage and recyclables, Cass accepts waste oil, electronics, used tires, fluorescent bulbs, appliances and household hazardous waste for little or no charge.
Since KDR purchased the business, household hazardous waste is accepted during all regular business hours, not just one day a week.
Cass's hazardous waste is handled and processed by Northwest Minnesota Household Hazardous Waste Management, a joint powers group with a facility based at Bagley.
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe pays Cass County $4,345 per month instead of collecting a property tax fee from band members in order to participate in the county's waste disposal program. Their garbage haulers pay the same tip fee at Pine River as other private haulers.
Cass accepted storm damaged tree debris at the county's Hackensack and Pine River sites in 2016 following major July and August storms. The county hired Sylvan Corp. of Princeton to mulch/grind waste wood at both locations.
Total cost for their services ran $36,312.5. The Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed the county $27,000 of that.
The solid waste program paid $12,300 to demolish three buildings on county tax forfeited properties in 2016 in preparation for placing the sites on the county land sale.
Cass spent $35,152 to place cement pads under recycle bins at Longville and in Sylvan Township in 2016.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.