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Cass County Board: Contract approved for garbage disposal

BACKUS — Cass County Board Tuesday approved a new five year contract for solid waste (garbage) disposal with two existing vendors, but with slightly different terms.

Current five-year contracts expire November 2012. The new contracts will go to November 2016.

Under the current contract, Stockman Transfer has been processing the county’s garbage at the county transfer station north of Pine River. Waste Management has been transporting garbage and disposing of it either at its landfill in Gwinner, N.D., or at its landfill at Elk River.

The new contract calls for Waste Management to use only its Elk River landfill (a lower rate than Gwinner) and for Stockman to transport the garbage at a slightly lower rate than Waste Management offered. Stockman will continue to process the garbage at the Pine River site.

Based on current annual 12,000 tons of garbage Cass County generates, the county has been paying $726,000 per year to use the Elk River site and $792,480 per year to use the Gwinner site.

The new contracts with Stockman doing the transporting and with using only Waste Management’s Elk River site, the county’s estimated annual cost will drop to $648,840 per year.

Cass had also looked at using Crow Wing County’s landfill, but the proposed contract cost there would have run $720,000 per year on Cass County’s current 12,000 tons per year.

The new Waste Management contract will permit the disposal rate per ton to increase $1 each year, reaching $29.08 by November 2016.

Stockman’s charge to accept and load garbage from haulers at Pine River will drop from the $4.91 per ton they have charged under the old contract to $4.75 under the new contract. Their $20 per ton to transport under the new contract will be less than the $23.43 per ton Waste Management charged under the old contract.

Additionally, the county board dropped prior vendor Sailor Environmental from managing the county’s household hazardous waste program in favor of a new five-year contract with Stockman to provide additional days of service.

Under the old contract, the county offered household hazardous waste collections at the Pine River transfer site Thursdays only and six one-day collections around the county for $15,000 per year. The new Stockman contract will cost $25,000 per year, but will make household hazardous waste collection available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon at the Pine River site and will include the six one-day collections around the county.

With the change Cass will increase household hazardous waste available collection days from 58 to 292 per year.

The board tabled action on contracts for recycling for further study.

The board voted to post “No Firearms Hunting” signs on a 1,000-foot perimeter around the Walker-Hackensack transfer garbage and recycling collection site during hunting season.

Board Chair Jeff Peterson reported there are bullet holes in that transfer station building, because hunters have been hunting too close to the building where individuals bring their refuse to dump. The public as well as transfer site operator Larry Overcash are at risk, Peterson said.