County will look to update outdated waste ordinance

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mower County is looking to update the way it regulates the storage, transportation and disposal of solid waste after talk that a local landfill could ask for permits to accept household garbage.

The county board voted unanimously Tuesday to review it’s Solid Waste Management Ordinance, which dates to 1992.

“There’s been little or no change to it since then, and it may not meet the needs of the county today,” Commissioner Jerry Reinartz said.

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The county’s Solid Waste Committee and staff have already reviewed other county ordinances, and Reinartz called the Sherburn County ordinance as being much more expansive. The county is aiming to craft the ordinance to meet future needs and needs into the future.

The board did not discuss a key inspiration to look into its ordinance: SKB Environmental has said it’s looking into adding mixed municipal solid waste — or household garbage — and possibly recycling services to its Austin site.

Talk about the landfill sparked after SKB acquired neighboring Veit Solid Waste Facility last year and then company representatives spoke at a Lansing Township meeting.

To accept municipal solid waste, SKB would need approved permits from the county, state and Lansing Township board. The ordinance is key guide for regulating all solid waste requests and permits.

Should the board wish to change the ordinance, it would need to hold a public hearing about the proposed changes.

SKB, a subsidiary of Waste Connections, owns about 166 acres north of Austin and west of U.S. Highway 218 at 52563 243rd St. But the original SKB site is separated from the former Veit site by 243rd Street with 90 acres to the west and 76 acres to the east.

SKB officials said they may ask the township to vacate a portion of 243rd Street that runs between SKB and the former Veit site so the company can combine the sites.

Currently, most Austin garbage goes to the landfill in Clear Lake, Iowa.

The SKB and former Veit sites are permitted as demolition/construction landfills.