Schmidt said the county could haul recycled plastic, glass, metals and paper to Harvey County, and receive payment of $5 a ton for the materials. He has repeatedly called recycling the most effective way for the county to receive immediate relief on trash disposal costs.
Schmidt said Harvey County would take the materials with the help of Stutzman Refuse Disposal Inc. for selling them.
“We can start now under our own rules, or we can wait until KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) steps in to tell us how we will do it,” Schmidt said. “It’s coming. The state’s committed.”
Commissioner Dan Holub cautioned the public that with rising fuel prices and other costs, the recycling would not get rid of the $81 annual solid waste fee paid by all Marion County households.
“If we want to hold ourselves to the $81, then we are going to have to recycle,” Holub said. “If you don’t like the $81, wait until we can’t do anything to help hold costs, and it jumps to $101.”
Commissioner Bob Hein noted that grocery stores are already successfully baling cardboard for recycling, and that reducing the amount of cardboard shipped to the landfill would reduce county costs considerably. Hein said many retailers and manufacturers receive large amounts of cardboard.
Holub said at the prices being quoted, it wouldn’t take long for the county to pay for trailers and a baler to handle trash.
The commissioners said locations such as grocery stores might make good collection points for the public to bring recycled materials.
Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said recycling might require more paid personnel.
“I can’t see it continuing to work on a bigger scale with volunteers,” he said. “It would turn into a mess if left unattended. But I would be happy if we could get 50 percent of the public to participate.”
Schmidt said the materials would need to be separated by type for sales.
The commissioners directed him to proceed on putting a program together, paying attention to communities already recycling, such as Hillsboro and Peabody.
The payday figure was $1,456,668.28, which was unusually high, but County Clerk Carol Maggard said it included payment for resurfacing of Sunflower Road.
She reported sales tax received from the state in December, and collected in October at $47,791.42, ahead $3,111.09 for the year.
A report from County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman, presented by Maggard, showed the county cash on hand at the end of November at $8,302,783.59. The county general fund was reported at $2,119,599.71 and the road and bridge fund at $816,187.53.
Ad valorem taxes collected in November totaled $1,209,201.42.
The property taxes are collected for the county as well as schools, cities and other government entities.
In listing encumbrances to be carried into 2008, Maggard said nothing had been budgeted toward building a new jail, or corrections center, in 2007 except $24,885 to BG Consultants of Manhattan.
Since then, the commissioners have used Law Kingdon of Wichita as consultants instead of BG for a corrections center with frequent intent voiced to have a bond issue on the November ballot seeking voter approval. Maggard said $125,000 has been budgeted for the jail building in 2008.
The commissioners approved a motion by Hein to put the $24,885 originally intended for BG Consultants back into the general fund.
The commissioners awarded a bid to Cardie Oil of Tampa of $19,564.80 for 6,550 gallons of area diesel fuel for road and bridge over a competitive bid of $19,878.45 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.