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Renville, Redwood counties moving forward on joint recycling facility

OLIVIA — Renville County is looking at the possibility of accepting municipal solid waste at its landfill from Redwood County.

Doing so would help fill up the landfill in Beaver Falls Township ahead of schedule, which could possibly save Renville County money and make the transition easier as the two counties open a joint recycling and transfer facility.

The Renville County Board of Commissioners discussed the option at its meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners also weighed the possibility of expanding a cell at the landfill to provide some additional capacity there if needed.

The Renville County Commissioners will need to make a decision relatively soon on what to do as the county is in the process of re-permitting its landfill with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Renville County landfill will fill up in seven to 10 years based on the current waste stream. Adding a portion of the waste stream from Redwood County to the landfill could shorten the estimated life to four to seven years, according to information presented at the meeting.

Redwood and Renville counties are on track to begin construction in 2014 on an estimated $5 million recycling and transfer station on the west side of Redwood Falls. It will be operational in late 2014 or early 2015, according to Jeff Marlowe, Renville County public works director, and Jon Mitchell, Redwood County environmental director.

All of the municipal solid waste from both counties would be transported to the facility. Plans call for recycling a greater share of collected materials than is now the case, and transferring the remaining municipal solid waste to either a landfill or waste-to-energy facility.

At this point, no decision has been made on where the solid waste from both counties would be transferred. Redwood County now sends its solid waste to the Lyon County landfill.

Redwood County currently has one of the state’s highest rates of recycling, with a 72 to 78 percent rate of recycling applicable materials. The rate in Renville County is approximately 35 percent.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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