Cass County submits update to solid waste plan

WALKER - Cass County has submitted a proposal to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to update the county's Solid Waste Management Plan for the next 10 years.

WALKER - Cass County has submitted a proposal to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to update the county's Solid Waste Management Plan for the next 10 years.

The plan will be available to view on the county website at . Anyone may comment on the plan to MPCA before Sept. 18.

Based on information from the state demographer's office, the plan assumes Cass County's population will rise .474 percent per year from a base year in 2012 when there were 28,350 people in the county to 29,865 people in 2023.

Cass collected 21,823 tons of municipal solid waste in 2012. Using a state assumption that each person living in the county generates 2.3 pounds of solid waste a day, the county estimates by 2023, annual solid waste collection will rise to 22,992 tons per year.

Garbage currently represents 55.3 percent of the total waste collected in the county. That is projected to rise slightly to 55.6 percent by 2023.


In 2012, the county sent 12,072 tons of residential and commercial garbage to landfills.

Private haulers collect garbage from businesses and homes in the county and deliver it to the main county transfer station north of Pine River. Individuals also may take their garbage to one of three authorized transfer sites in the county. That garbage also goes to the main Pine River site.

From there, the county contracts to have the garbage hauled to a landfill, currently either at Elk River or at Gwinner, N.D.

Another two percent of solid waste is demolition debris, which is burned or buried onsite at designated demolition debris centers by Longville, Walker and Pine River.

In 2012, 78,610 tons of demolition debris was processed in the county. That dropped to 59,430 tons in 2013. Projected average each of the next 10 years is 69,020.

The balance of solid waste is the 42.4 percent which is recycled. The plan anticipates that percentage will decrease slightly to 42.2 percent by 2023.

Recycled materials include 3.9 percent generated by individuals and 34.7 percent generated by commercial, industrial and institutional businesses. In 2012, that included 840 tons from residences and 7,563 tons from businesses.

The recycled materials include standard clean plastics, glass, cardboard and paper.


Also recycled or disposed in a safe manner are what the county lists as problem materials. Those included in 2012 the 99 tons of electronics, six tons of fluorescent light bulbs/tubes, 13 tons of household hazardous waste, 7 tons of latex paint, 170 tons of appliances, 1 ton of antifreeze, 13 tons of oil filters, 354 tons of tires, 23 tons of used oil and 174 tons of vehicle batteries.

Cass County's 2014 budget anticipates the county will take in $2,475,000 to operate municipal solid waste disposal services. That revenue includes $70,000 from the state, $755,000 from fees the county charges private haulers to dump garbage in the transfer station and other fees, plus the $1,650,000 generated by a charge on property tax bills.

That shows up as a $66 sum on most residential property owner tax statements and varying higher amounts for commercial and multi-dwelling properties.

Cass expects to spend this year $2,154,148 on solid waste disposal.

That will include $319,148 for administration, $25,000 for household hazardous waste, $45,000 for fluorescent lamps, $620,000 for recycling, $310,000 for the transfer sites, $670,000 for the garbage disposal contract and $165,000 for miscellaneous.

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