County could declare moratorium on solid waste requests during policy research

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Mower County Board of Commissioners could suspend solid waste requests and permits while the county researches a new waste ordinance this year.

The board will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting on May 26 to potentially declare a moratorium on the current ordinance while the county investigates and potentially creates a new policy concerning solid waste within the county.

The public hearing won’t deal with the ordinance itself, according to county officials.

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Mower’s solid waste ordinance was last updated in 1992, but commissioners voted last month to review its policy after multiple solid waste issues have sprouted over the past few months.

The county’s largest inspiration is SKB Environmental, owner of a landfill on the northern outskirts of Austin, and the company’s potential plans to request permits to add municipal solid waste — or household garbage — as well as recycling services.

Talk about the landfill sparked after SKB acquired neighboring Veit Solid Waste Facility last year. Company representatives spoke at a Lansing Township meeting earlier this year about its plans to look into added services.

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

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.

—Jason Schoonover contributed to this report