Bill Kleindl (l), Troy Engebretson (c) and County Commissioner Ron Staples (r) spoke at the recent summit on waste management coordinated by the West Central Minnesota Climate Network. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

A wide-ranging discussion on waste management put on by the West Central Minnesota Climate Network attracted about 30 members of the public to the Morris City Council chambers at the Morris Senior Center last Friday. Speakers included Troy Engebretson of Engebretson Disposal, Stevens County Commissioner Ron Staples and Stevens County Environmental Services Director Bill Kleindl. Those in attendance heard a history of the County’s waste management practices, what the future looks like, and the many challenges facing the system. Here are Engebretson first, then Kleindl, noting that the levels of trash and recycling are trending up, while the population remains flat.

Engebretson: “I don’t think the population is. I think Amazon is.”

Kleindl: “It’s the material that people are buying. And that’s where the push has got to be. When you go to the store and buy something, you don’t get this big box and all the styrofoam in it and all the things like that.”

Because recyclables are lighter than regular trash, the haulers want to crush and pack them as tightly as possible to take as much as possible to processing facilities. But those facilities, they said, prefer the recyclables to be un-crushed for their machinery.

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