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Renewed focus on recycling in Kandiyohi County

Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl displays the new recycling logo to the county commissioners Tuesday the at their meeting in Willmar. Construction is underway of a new electronic sign to promote the Kandiyohi County Recycling Center. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

WILLMAR — Every week for many years Jim Butterfield said he lugged four to five bags of garbage to the curb for haulers to take to the county landfill.

That changed drastically a few years ago when the Kandiyohi County Commissioner made a commitment to step up his recycling efforts.

Now, he and his wife barely generate one bag of garbage each week.

“You don’t have to do the math to figure out how much that will save on the landfill,” said Butterfield during the County Board meeting Tuesday, when commissioners were shown the county’s new colorful recycling logo.

Featuring several short messages, including “We Recycle,” “Keeping Kandiyohi County Beautiful,” and “Thank you for recycling and doing your part,” the logo was designed to generate new interest in recycling and to make it easier to find recycling stations.

The logo will be installed on recycling sheds that are located throughout the county and will also be part of an electronic message board that is currently under construction at the recycling center in Willmar.

Messages about what type of recyclables are accepted, the price for aluminum cans and hours of operation for the recycling center and household hazardous waste center will be on the electronic sign.

The purpose of the new advertising campaign is to “make people aware that we do need to recycle” to extend the life of the county landfill, said Butterfield.

“If you’re not recycling — start,” he said.

People are interested in recycling but many don’t know where to go, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.

He said the recycling center receives numerous phone calls from people wondering how to find the large facility.

Located at 1400 22nd St. S.W., the recycling center is across the street from the popular Bill Taunton Stadium and Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center. Because there was no signage in front of the building, Kleindl said many people didn’t realize it was the recycling center even though they are very familiar with the area.

 “We want to let our public know where we’re at and they should do their part,” said Kleindl, adding that putting a bottle or can in a recycling container is “no harder to do that than put it in the garbage can.”

Delinquent taxes

The board heard from James Buck, who was given notice to vacate his tax-forfeited Sunburg home by Oct. 31 because of delinquent taxes that date back to 2007. Buck and his family are still living in the home.

In August the board denied Buck’s request for tax abatement.

Buck told the board he had never been informed of that action and inquired if the board would reconsider.

Chairman Harlan Madsen said the board has followed all the legal steps in the long process, including sending a certified letter Sept. 25 for Buck to vacate the property.

Buck questioned the board’s “heartless demeanor” in light of the “current economy.”

Madsen asked County Attorney Shane Baker to research whether Buck could legally make another application for abatement, considering that the property has already been approved for sale by the state Department of Revenue.

County parks

The board agreed to make no changes to the county park registration fees or policies in 2014 and reviewed a long list of maintenance items for next year.

The county doesn’t make money on parks, and is in fact losing money, said Kleindl. But he said the county is “preserving the heritage of Minnesotans” by giving people an opportunity to spend time with their family outdoors.

Because of all the people that use the parks, Madsen said the county realizes economic benefits.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750