Initial single-stream recyclers surprised by ease of system

Some people are a little confused that they don?t have to do more work separating garbage to make single stream waste recycling work at the transfer station, Rollin Schmidt, station director, told the Marion County Commission Monday.

The recyclable materials only need to be brought to the transfer station in Marion and dumped in one area for county workers to load it, Schmidt said.

This confuses some people, he said, because they think they still have to separate types of waste and sack it to make the program work. Schmidt said he has even heard protests when items are dumped out.

The items are then trucked to Hutchinson and separated out by a machine line with only a few people required to oversee the mechanical process.

Under this process, in a proposal from Jeff Fawcett, municipal marketing manager for Waste Connections of Kansas Inc., items can include corrugated cardboard; chip board such as cereal, pop and shoe boxes; newspapers, magazines, junk mail and phone books; other light colored papers; plastics numbers 1-7; steel and aluminum cans; clean aluminum foil; and any color of glass food containers.

Items not to be included, he said, include Styrofoam, electronics, ceramics or dishes, food waste, plastic grocery bags, motor oil containers, household hazardous waste, yard waste or trash, shredded paper, light bulbs, window glass or mirrors.

Fawcett said Waste Connections will rebate Marion County for 60 percent of sales on recyclables based on the Chicago market, currently about $33 a ton.

John Barker, Kansas legislative representative for District 70 including large parts of Marion, Dickinson and Clay counties, told the commissioners that rural legislators cover large areas serving people with myriad concerns. This makes their legislative jobs more complex than it might be for a Johnson County legislator who might represent only 10 blocks in Overland Park.

Added to that, Barker said, the legislative process was purposely designed to be slow and deliberate to help avoid faulty legislation, but that also makes it slower to correct faults in past legislation if they are discovered in working over time.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said such processes apparently are in play when it comes to Marion County?s current search to hire a new county appraiser.

Dallke explained that the state law requires an appraiser with a level of college education that seems to fit the $90,000 a year pay scale in urban areas, but it doesn?t fit well for rural counties where $50,000 may be the top in terms of what the county can afford.

Marion County, Dallke said, has perhaps as many as four applicants for its vacant appraiser position, currently being handled by Deputy Appraiser Brian Frese, but the commissioners realize they may still have to continue advertising over a wide area for someone willing to come here.

It also leaves commissioners feeling they have to explain to employees in other departments why the pay scale isn?t equal for everybody, he said.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said that funding large wages or projects is disproportionately more difficult for a rural county because a large portion of the county base comes from lower-taxed agricultural lands rather than from commercial and residential properties.

Funding large wages becomes even more difficult, the commissioners said, when the state has relinquished taxation of industrial equipment and furnishings.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he is continuing with his contentions that the state was wrong to allow the Canadian Keystone oil pipeline to come through Marion and other counties with tax exemption status when none of the oil was intended for use in Kansas.

The commissioners approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid for $24,796.55 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of gasoline from Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $24,907.50 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

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