By Starrla Cray
McLEOD COUNTY, MN McLeod County Commissioners began looking into the logistics of single-sort recycling about a year ago, and now, they’re sharing their findings with local cities.
The first presentation took place at Tuesday’s Winsted City Council meeting, with commissioners Paul Wright, Ron Shimanski, and Sheldon Nies, along with Sarah Young of McLeod County Solid Waste.
“One thing we wanted to do before making that final decision is go to all the city council meetings over the next three weeks,” Wright said. “We want to answer questions, so that when we do make a final decision, we’ll be sure this is where we want to go.”
Currently, McLeod County offers five-sort recycling, which means residents use separate containers for glass, metals, plastics, mixed paper, and cardboard/boxboard.
If the county switches to single-sort recycling, Wright expects participation to greatly increase. Other communities that have switched to single-sort often see a 25 percent increase, he added.
McLeod County has been working with consulting firm Burns & McDonnell to obtain data regarding the potential switch. Wright said that if all the numbers are ready, the item will be on the agenda for the commissioners’ Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting. If not, it will be postponed until the Tuesday, March 4 meeting.
If approved, Wright said the $3.5 million retrofit to the facility could start soon, and potentially be completed by late summer or early fall.
Funding for the project will be through abatement and tip fees from the landfill.
“We have dollars in that abatement account to cover all the construction costs,” Wright said, explaining that the project will have no levy impact.
“At this point, I’m 100 percent in favor of doing this,” Wright said. “I think it’s the right way to go.”
Holy Trinity update
Also present at Tuesday’s council meeting was Holy Trinity High School senior Hannah Lundquist, who provided an update on school news.
She stated that Snofest will be in February, and the annual Spring Fling will be Saturday, April 12, with the theme “A Night at the Oscars.”
She noted that the theme for Catholic School’s Week this year is “Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.”
Past events were also mentioned, such as fundraising, accreditation, sports, wireless capability, student recognition, community involvement, and class retreats.
When Lundquist graduates, she plans to attend the University of Wisconsin in either Stout or River Falls, majoring in communication.
Of her 20 classmates, 15 have already been accepted into the college of their choice.
“That’s pretty early, since the deadline isn’t until May 1,” Lundquist said.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• authorized changing the park commission meetings to the second Monday of each month at 5 p.m.
• approved a new cell phone policy for city staff, as discussed at previous work sessions. The policy includes regulations for personal cell phones and city-owned cell phones.
• approved Marv Ebensperger as 2014 chair of the planning commission, and Mike Guggemos as vice-chair.
• approved Steve Ebert as 2014 chair of the park commission, and Petie Littfin as vice chair.