Stevens County Coordinator Rebecca Young.

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a grant resolution from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at their Tuesday meeting to enhance the organics portion of the county’s recycling program. The challenge, County Coordinator Rebecca Young told the KMRS Community Connection, is getting it to be cost effective. She said things are at a critical point now as Pope/Douglas Solid Waste seeks bonding dollars to expand their operations.

“We will have a place in the very near future to take organics,” Young promised. “The plan right now under the grant would be to build first, built out the commercial organics collection because they are our largest producer of organics materials. And then we would transition into having some community drop sites for household organics collection.”

Initially, the organics would be transported for some distance away, but Young said the hope is that once hauling begins there can be an easy transition to a closer facility once Pope/Douglas builds it. The goal, she said, is to put less pressure on the landfill and help the incinerator run more efficiently without the organics material in them. But, as Commissioner Jeanne Ennen noted at the board meeting, changing people’s habits takes years.

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