Landfill mulling addition of garbage services

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Part of 243rd Street runs behind SKB Environmental’s main landfill north of Austin. SKB may ask Lansing Township to vacate a portion of the road. Eric Johnson/

Part of 243rd Street runs behind SKB Environmental’s main landfill north of Austin. SKB may ask Lansing Township to vacate a portion of the road. Eric Johnson/

No permit requests submitted yet, so changes are months away

A landfill a few miles north of Austin could be in the early stages of expanding its services to accept household garbage.

SKB Environmental representatives confirmed the business is looking into adding mixed municipal solid waste — or household garbage — and possibly recycling services to its Austin site.

“We feel there’s a need there,” Division Vice President John Domke said.

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However, Domke noted SKB is still very early in the discussion process and no proposals have been submitted to the state, Lansing Township or Mower County.

“We’re just floating things out there right now,” he said, adding that they’re trying to be open with neighbors and nearby residents.

SKB, a subsidiary of Waste Connections, acquired neighboring Veit Solid Waste Facility last year and now 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 Veit site by 243rd Street with 90 acres to the west and 76 acres to the east.

SKB and Veit are both permitted as demolition/construction landfills.

SKB representatives spoke at a Lansing Township board meeting last month, and 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.

Domke said it makes sense from an environmental standpoint to vacate that part of the road to combine the landfill.

That initial discussion sparked some local talks about the landfill’s plans for the future.

While plans are still in the early stages, it’s not the first time SKB has discussed expansion plans with a local board. Last year before SKB bought Veit, company leaders went before the county board to ask the county to consider a landfill and solid waste ordinance. But that request was withdrawn around the time it finalized the deal to buy Veit.

SKB is still looking into expansion options since acquiring Veit.

Domke said SKB is working to be open with landowners, and company officials see environmental benefits of keeping the waste local rather than sending it down to Clear Lake, where most of Mower County’s trash goes now.

“We see some benefits to handling it within the county,” Domke said

Domke said SKB is an environmentally responsible company, and noted it’s in the process of fixing some environmental issues at the former Veit site, working to line the landfill because it was unlined.

“We’re very proud of who we are as a company,” he said.

If SKB decides to seek permitting to accept assorted municipal solid waste, changes are still several months away and require multiple permits.

Domke said the soonest SKB would submit permitting to the state is within about 90 days. Permit requests with Lansing Township and Mower County would follow sometime after.

As of 2009, there were 21 landfills that accepted mixed municipal solid waste in Minnesota, the closes being in Olmsted and Steele counties, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.