Purchases aimed at increasing and streamlining recycling
The Wadena County Board approved a $74,400 purchase of recycling equipment to increase the county's recycling potential and the efficiency of the operation.
The county could use more recycling bins, said Mike Gibson, a consult who is overseeing the solid waste department. For example, Verndale is without a bin. The purchase includes four recycling bins with four compartments each for a total of $24,800.
A $22,600 hook truck "pup" trailer will improve how efficiently recycling is hauled, Gibson said. Five cardboard bins totaling $27,000 will address the fact that the cardboard side of the bins fills up the fastest. With these bins, a lot of times only the cardboard will need to be hauled instead of all the recycling, he said.
Commissioner Ralph Miller asked if the item purchases could be approved individually rather than all together. He questioned the need for the "pup" trailer and suggested patience before purchasing one.
"It really is an efficiency," Gibson said about the trailer. It will allow more flexibility with hauling.
Otter Tail County's "pup" trailer allows a driver to take two empty boxes and service two sites without going back to the recycling center, Otter Tail County Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan said.
Commissioner Bill Stearns described the "pup" trailer as a "labor-saving device."
Miller said he didn't think it would cut costs in half.
Gibson responded with his own estimation of the cost savings.
"No, but I like a 20 percent discount," he said.
Hanan said that over time the county would recoup the cost of the trailer by not having to go back and forth so much. They could evaluate how long it would take to recoup the cost, he suggested.
The "pup" trailer and extra bins also offer the county the potential to expand its recycling program, Gibson said.
Commissioner Lane Waldahl said recycling has gone up in the county since the bins were added.
Stearns pointed out the recycling rate in Wadena County grew from 23.8 percent in 2003 to 54 percent in 2007.
"Our recycling is taking off and it's going straight up," Stearns said.
With nine more bins going out, the demand for services will be greater, Gibson said.
"The more efficiently we can do it the better," he said.
The board approved the purchase of the equipment at the prices quoted plus sales tax if applicable. The solid waste committee recommended the purchases from the solid waste fund.