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Commission addresses recycling issues

Staff writer

Marion County Noxious Weed employees will be backup drivers for countywide recycling routes, for times that Commission Chairman Dan Holub is unable to make the trip.

Three employees said they were willing to drive the route in return for time off during the week, Noxious Weed and Recycling director Rollin Schmidt told commissioners Monday. The commission approved that plan.

Commissioners tabled a request from Centre and Goessel schools for monthly recyclable pickup until January. The schools mostly want to recycle plastic bottles.

Plastic bottles are among the least desirable recyclables, because they weigh little and increase tons of waste sent to landfills only slightly, Schmidt said. If the schools included cardboard in the pickup, he would be more interested.

Jack Chappell of Engineering Solutions & Design of Overland Park disagreed about plastic bottles. They take up a lot of space, which can force more trips to landfills if bottles aren’t diverted by recycling.

The county needs to either commit to recycling or end the program, Commissioner Randy Dallke said. He was concerned about competing with private recycling companies.

The program still is in a trial stage, using a trailer borrowed from McPherson County.

The cost of labor and fuel and the savings from not paying to send as much waste to a landfill can be measured. But people want to recycle, and the county can’t attach a dollar value to that, Holub said.

In other business:

  • Chappell said he might have a proposal for changing the method of water sampling at a closed landfill by the first meeting after Labor Day.
  • Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro won bids for area and transport fuel for the Road and Bridge Department. The company bid $13,056 for 6,550 gallons of area fuel divided between four tanks, and $17,167 for 8,000 gallons of transport fuel divided between three tanks. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa bid $13,304 and $17,385, respectively.

Last modified Sept. 2, 2009

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