County hears from Stutzman regarding options for workable recycling program

Recycling appears to be on the way to becoming part of the Marion County solid waste plan, and it could cost each household close to $60 annually while also producing some savings.

The Marion County Commis?sion Monday visited with John Stutzman and Hank Yoder of Stutzman Refuse Disposal about the forms recycling could take.

Stutzman will return to the commission soon with a proposal for handling recycling. But Commissioner Dan Holub was contending the county might want to handle recycling itself because it might make a profit.

Commissioner Randy Dallke, who invited Stutzman representatives to appear, said the goal at this point should be to reach a point to move into recycling as reasonably as possible.

Commission Chairman Bob Hein said he favored waiting to see what Stutzman brings back.

?I think we?ll be pleasantly surprised at what they come back with,? he said.

Holub said if Stutzman can make money from recycling, so can the county. He cited high prices of $160 a ton for cardboard and increasing demand for metals.

Holub said he wants to go beyond keeping the $81 per household trash assessment from going up, and perhaps reduce if the county can make money recycling.

The $60 annual estimate is based on a recycling fee of $5 to $6 per household.

Stutzman said he estimates recycling is removing up to 35 percent of solid waste from the waste stream in Harvey County

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt and the commissioners have felt this kind of savings needs to be pursued just to hold costs down. Schmidt said the last billing cycle cost $38.70 per ton just for hauling and trucking.

The average weight for a truckload of Marion County waste going to the landfill at Perry east of Topeka was 20.48 tons, he said. With 131 hauls for the year and rapidly rising fuel and other costs, Schmidt said the budget concern grows.

Schmidt said he is investigating how things are done at the Salina landfill to see if the county might immediately save money by disposing its waste there.

Schmidt said the price increase for recyclables was verified by the last load of white goods from the county bringing $65 a ton.

The commissioners directed County Clerk Carol Maggard to determine how many households are in the solid waste assessment. They also wanted to study how recycling will fit with the regional solid waste plan.

They said there is a continuing concern on how to treat rural residents equally with city residents, regardless of the plan.

Dallke said he would want a curbside program for the county similar to what Peabody has for its residents. But all three commissioners said they didn?t want to force any city into a county plan if it has a plan of its own.

In other business, the commissioners directed County Attorney Susan Robson to write a letter to the federal transportation board asking that it determine that the Central Kansas Conservancy, the rails to trails group based in McPherson, has in fact abandoned the trail by leaving it in desrepair.

Hein repeated his displeasure that CKC could keep control from landowners along the route when it has so few members.

?Four people, that?s all they?ve got,? he said.

Holub said ?it is wrong? that landowners pay the taxes on the land, and do what upkeep there is, if they aren?t also recognized as owners of the land.

Dallke said the county needs to keep doing everything it can to turn control of the land to the landowners.

Maggard listed the April 30 balance of county funds on hand at $9,180,889.81. The county general fund was at $2,391,807.14 and the road and bridge fund was $1,292,606.51. The auto fund expenses from the treasurer?s office for April were at $3,509.85.

Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith said EMS will join county fire departments at Marion County Lake Labor Day weekend for public education and fund raising.

He reported 107 ambulance runs for April, 24 from Peabody, 17 from Florence, two from Marion backup, 32 from Marion, 27 from Hillsboro and five from Tampa. The runs included seven transfer, 15 cardiac, 22 emergency, seven standby, 11 motor vehicle accident, 14 fall, 25 no transport three 10-22 and three other.

There were six first-reponse runs from Goessel.

There were three rescue runs from Florence and one from Marion.

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