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County Board suspends recycling program to May 4

Mower County’s recycling center and hazardous-waste facility will remain closed through the month of April due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, the Mower County Board of Commissioners discussed the situation with staff and agreed to keep the two facilities in Austin closed, with hopes of re-opening May 4.

Both facilities have been closed since March 18, along with curbside recycling collection and recycling drop-offs in rural areas of the county, due to concerns with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Given the information available at this time, we feel it’s necessary to keep the recycling and hazardous-waste facilities closed for the safety of the employees who handle materials from many homes and businesses,” said Commissioner Mike Ankeny.

Cedar Valley Services staffs the Mower County recycling program, including drop off and curb side pick-up. Recycling materials are hand sorted and curbside containers are individually picked up.

Out of caution and concern for the county’s partners at Cedar Valley, Mower County has decided to continue suspension of recycling services.

Cedar Valley is working on getting personal protective gear and on developing policies and procedures to reduce exposure risk.

County officials encourage the public to hold on to their recyclables until collection resumes, recommending sorting it and saving it in bags.

County officials are working on plans to accommodate larger than usual recycling pickups once re-opened.

“People do have the option of bringing their aluminum cans to one of the various parking lot drop-off sites in Austin that are used to support local nonprofits,” Ankeny said.

“We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding with the pause in the recycling program during this unprecedented time,” said Commissioner Jeff Baldus.

For more information, contact Mower County Public Works at 507-437-7718.