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Wadena County responds to misuse of recycling containers

After hearing about continued misuse of the county's recycling containers by vandals, the Wadena County Board decided on July 22 to fight back with surveillance.

Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan and Transfer Center Supervisor Tammy Ehrmantraut appeared before the board to describe the continuing problem of garbage and inappropriate items being dumped into the county's recycling containers located at city and township sites. Tires, appliances, bags of trash, dead animals and other items are being disposed of in the recycling containers, contaminating the containers and the recyclable materials left by other people.

Emptying and cleaning the recycling containers and disposing of the inappropriate items is costing the county time and money and defeating the purpose of having remote recycling containers.

The county collects, packages, and sells recyclable items including cardboard, metal, paper, glass bottles, plastic bottles and other items listed on the county's website. The money from the sale is used to help pay for the recycling containers and other costs of operating the county's solid waste facilities.

When sites are being misused, the county removes the recycling containers. Containers located at Thomastown Township Hall, Bullard Township Hall and Wing River Township Hall have been removed at various times in the past for cleaning and to discourage the vandals from using the containers.

After discussion, the board directed Hanan and Ehrmantraut to get quotes for surveillance cameras to be installed at remote recycling sites so that the people who are misusing the sites can be identified and apprehended.

The public is asked to report violations of recycling rules to the Wadena County Solid Waste Department at (218)631-2474.