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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission approves new landfill fees, reviews expansion

MOUND CITY – Linn County Public Works Director Shaun West returned to the Linn County Commission on Monday, Dec. 5, with more information about the Linn County Solid Waste department after problems were brought up about the landfill last week.

West brought a new fee schedule for the commissioners to approve. After last week’s meeting, it was apparent that the county needed to raise more money so they could close out cells at the construction-demolition (CD) landfill.

After some discussion, the commissioners approved the new fee schedule.

On the 2023 fee schedule at the end of this article, MSW means Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)—more commonly known as trash or garbage—consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries.

Commissioner Rick James asked if the county was using the machine that cut out tire sides so they could be recycled.

West said that the solid waste department did not have the manpower to cut the tires up. According to West, the cost of hauling the tire has gone up because of a fuel surcharge, and the $4 that the county charges now does not cover the cost.

James discussed the cost of getting rid of tires and said if the county raised the dumping costs for them, the tires would just end up on the roads. James asked West to get a price on a new tire-cutting machine.

West said that the cost-benefit analysis done by the county’s contracted engineering firm, Pferfferkorn Engineering, would be ready the week of Dec. 12.

West informed the commissioners that he had been talking to Charles Bauer, supervisor at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) about when the county would have to close the current cells at the CD landfill and open a new one. West told the commissioners that the landfill had six cells, five open and active and one closed.

West said that Bowers told him if the county had engineering done to build up the berm and bring up its elevation by no more than 10%, it should allow the operation to continue for several more years.

West said at present the concern was there was just about 1.5 to 2 years life left at the landfill, but that change would at least double the remaining life of the landfill.

He said the KDHE official indicated it would be substantially less expensive to add to the top of the cells than closing and opening a new cell.

The commissioners asked West to go ahead and get estimates for adding to the top of the cells.

Chairman Jim Johnson asked if the land across from the landfill will be able to be used in the future for landfill cells. West said that the county would have to work with an engineer to develop a plan and propose it to the state.

Other issues brought up about the landfill were the dumping of mattresses and contractors from out of the county dumping because of the lower rates.

West said that presently Linn County is still allowing mattresses to be dumped at the landfill even though they were told that may be problem. Bowers has told him that the mattress issue can be resolved.

West also brought up the problem of contractors from out of county dumping. He said that landfill employees questioned out-of-county license plates but were often told that the construction debris in their trucks was from Linn County.

West is going to look into how other counties handle this issue. County Counselor Gary Thompson said that he would also look into a way to certify where debris is coming from.

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