Proposal may help city salvage construction material collectionRed Wing staff might have found a way to avoid dumping construction and demolition material collection services.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing staff might have found a way to avoid dumping construction and demolition material collection services.
The solid waste campus is required to meet Minnesota Pollution Control Agency policies and regulations on the physical setup to provide the service, and the operation needed to make some changes to comply.
A project proposed in July would have met the requirements, but cost more than $450,000 – exceeding the budgeted $125,000.
But the new proposal brought to the City Council on Monday would likely come in at even less than the budgeted amount. It doesn’t include an actual building, but involves reorganizing the space and the dumping process.
“It’s not going to meet 100 percent of our existing service levels, but I think it will meet 85 percent of our needs,” said Jeff Schneider, deputy director of solid waste.
The spot where smaller loads – such as those from homeowners – are collected will be moved and will be in an area where vehicles can drive right up to the containers and dump materials.
The proposal also sets up an area for construction and demolition material drop-off with numbered bays for individual loads.
The new bay setup will actually make it easier for staff to look at each load and identify usable materials and any hazards, Schneider said.
Items dumped there include brick, wood, plastics and other debris from building and demolition sites, some of which can be sold or burned in the incinerator.
“The idea is to minimize the use of land disposal as our chief means of disposal,” Schneider said. And the operation brings in at least $30,000 annually between fees and selling salvaged materials.
To meet MPCA requirements, no waste can stay on the ground overnight, Schneider said, and the collection containers have to be covered at the end of the day.
“This is a good compromise,” Council member Lisa Bayley said. “A month ago we were ready to say ‘forget it.’”
The new system will require more communication among staff and customers, so materials don’t all come at once or close to the end of the day, Schneider said.
With an extension granted because of the state government shutdown, the city has until Aug. 26 to tell the MPCA if it wants to continue offering the services.
While plans still need to be finalized and officially approved by the MPCA, council members generally were happy the service wouldn’t need to be cut.
“To provide this service to our businesses … is also very positive for us,” Council President Ralph Rauterkus said.