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Commissioner wants decision on recycling made now

Trash hauling, dumping fees may top $300,000 this year

Staff writer

During Monday’s Marion County Commission meeting, commissioner Dan Holub said he wanted to get something started with recycling — now.

The commission had discussed numerous options regarding countywide recycling but no decisions were made.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he was not in favor of trailers being located in communities with residents placing recyclables in the appropriate bins. The reason?

“I haven’t seen where they’ve worked,” he said.

The demand for recycling and whether people will participate needed to be determined before Holub said he would be in favor of spending a lot of county funds for a program.

Holub said he favored the idea of boxes being furnished to residents and Sonoco of Hutchinson picking up recyclables from the county transfer station.

Residents would have to bring recyclables to the transfer station.

Focus would also be on schools and businesses, Holub said.

What isn’t transported to a landfill would be a cost savings to the county, he said, with that money being used to purchase a cardboard baler and other recycling equipment.

“I don’t want to charge additional fees to cover recycling,” Holub said.

The commission has been told that eventually the state will mandate all Kansas counties to promote and provide a countywide recycling program to reduce the amount of solid waste going to the landfill.

“The bottom line here is do we want to put money in recycling or putting trash in the ground?” asked transfer station manager Rollin Schmidt. He continued that there was recycling in Peabody and Hillsboro but most of the complaints about recycling that he’s heard has been from Marion.

Maybe people will bring in recyclables with their trash to the transfer station, Holub said.

“I’m not averse to mandatory recycling but would like to try it under the current $81 per year residents are paying for solid waste,” he said. “Whatever we pull out will be less to take to the landfill.”

The only concern Schmidt said he had with the program presented by Sonoco is the county will be required to provide a certain amount of recyclables. If that tonnage isn’t met, the baler will be removed and the program discontinued.

Another issue is recyclables cannot be sorted on the tipping floor or the main floor where trash is dumped at the transfer station. The recyclables would have to be pulled before dumped on the floor.

Schmidt commented that Harvey County will not take any recyclables with the municipal solid waste.

If the county goes with Sonoco of Hutchinson, there will only be a $1,200 investment required of the county.

Dallke asked Schmidt if other transfer stations stored tires indoors. Schmidt said most store them outdoors but few transfer stations were within city limits.

Resource Management is contracted by the county to transport tires. Dallke asked Schmidt to contact the appropriate authorities regarding the disposal of tires to see if there were other options besides storing them indoors. If there are other options, an area in the transfer station could be available for possible recycling.

Schmidt was instructed to contact Sonoco and verify previous proposal with a decision being made by the commission at the next meeting which is Monday.

Expensive trash

When the commission reviewed the tonnage report for September, it was determined that if the county dumps 7,000 tons in 2008 at $42 per ton for fuel surcharges and tipping fees at the landfill, the county could spend as much as $294,000. Schmidt said an additional $10 per ton is paid by the county for other costs associated with the trash business.

If the county hauls solid waste to Butler County Landfill, there could be two trips made per day for a total of 50,000 miles per year. Schmidt said he talked with Kevin Robinson of Robinson Trucking, the current hauler of the county’s solid waste to a landfill near Topeka, and informed Robinson of the possibility that the county may purchase a tractor and haul its own trash to a landfill. Robinson told Schmidt he was OK with that and would be willing to sell a truck to the county. The truck has 915,000 miles on it.

The county met with Butler County Commission and is awaiting a proposal regarding dumping at the Butler County Landfill.

Trailer tires are purchased

Schmidt reported tires were needed for the trailers and for the county-owned semi. Three bids were solicited for 10 285/75/24.5 trailer tires and four 285/75/24.5 recapped tires for the semi that only is used to pull trailers at the transfer station.

Rod’s Tires of Hillsboro had the low bid of $256 per tire for the trailer and $167 per tire for the truck. Other bids were received from Cardie Oil Company of Marion and Shamrock of Wichita.

Schmidt requested a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

Last modified Oct. 22, 2008

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