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Wadena, Becker, Otter Tail, Todd form solid waste consortium

Wadena County commissioners agreed to join a solid waste collaboration with Becker, Otter Tail and Todd counties to purchase the Perham incinerator and resolve solid waste issues in an environmentally preferred manner.

Forming the Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority is the result of two to three years of effort, said Chairman Bill Stearns. The discussion has been contentious at times, but not so much lately as counties became more amenable to the idea.

The collaboration paves the way for the Perham Resource Recovery Facility incinerator to obtain $2.8 million from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the expansion, according to Mike Gibson, a consultant for the county who oversaw the reorganization of the solid waste department last year. They're also requesting $3 million from the state, but that would be a bonus.

"The project is set to go with or without that," Gibson said.