"Thirty to 40 percent of the garbage we receive at the transfer station is food waste," Heather Cunningham, Carlton County Zoning and Environmental Services, commented at a recent Carlton County Board of Commissioners meeting.
"The transfer station customer service survey identified the need to offer residential food waste collection. If approved, I will solicit proposals for the collection and transportation of the collected food waste," said Cunningham.
The proposal went on to explain the food waste will be collected in a two-yard dumpster at the transfer station and emptied at least weekly by a contracted, licensed hauler. The food waste will be transported to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) compost facility. There is no disposal fee. The contracted hauler would charge for the dumpster rental and transportation costs to WLSSD. It is anticipated the contract would cost approximately $1,200 annually.
The food waste will need to be put in compostable bags and placed in a dumpster. The compostable bags will initially be provided free of charge to Carlton County residents at the transfer station.
"We anticipate approximately 1,000 households will participate annually at a cost of about $1,200 for compostable bags," Cunningham explained. "Free bags would incentivize utilization of the program as well as assure the use of compostable bags." The goal is to not exceed $4,000 in expenses, which includes costs of advertising the program.
The cost for this new program appears to be budget neutral.
A law was passed in May 2013 requiring manufacturers of paint to establish what is called a "Paint Stewardship Program" in Minnesota by November 2014. The program will pay for the bulk containers, transportation, and disposal of paint at the Carlton County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. In the past, Carlton County has averaged $5,000 a year in paint transportation and disposal fees. Part of this savings would go for the food waste program.
The county board, with all members present, approved unanimously to proceed with implementation.
A $45 licensing fee for an authorized recycler in Carlton County was waived by the county board for the Floodwood Services and Training (FST). In a letter from James Tarzy, executive director for FST, he explained that now they pick up recyclable items from Villa Vista and the Tri-County Food Shelf in Cromwell.
FST provides a work environment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities of which five reside in Carlton County. Items such as cardboard are collected every two weeks from these locations and is transported by FST workers who live in the Cromwell area and travel to Floodwood for this work experience.
Tarzy went on to say, "This project does not only provide pay for work but also provides the feeling of self-worth for people who are sometimes looked at as not contributing back to their community."
Speed limit study
Carlton County will have the Minnesota Department of Transportation do a speed limit study of County Highway 61 near Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake from the West Kasper Road to the lights of Trunk Highway 73 on the south end of Moose Lake. The request came from the Moose Lake Township Board.
Dean Paulson, Moose Lake Township resident, wrote in a letter to the town board, "I believe that a 'pro-active attitude' is necessary in this case. Heavy foot and bicycle traffic occurs in this area adjacent to Mercy Hospital and the Munger Trail. The crosswalk from South Arrowhead Lane to Kenwood and from South Arrowhead Lane across Highway 73 to Lakeshore Drive should be upgraded and equipped with flashing warning lights."
Carlton County spring bids for contracted summer work were received and awarded. Eric Carlson from Cloquet will do the roadside mowing at a rate of $28 per lineal mile, one side. The roadside is required to be cut 6.5 feet and Carlson is using a John Deere 2630 with a 7.5 disk mower.
Rydberg and Sons from Pine City received the Class 5 crushing award of $3.65 per cubic yard at the Johnson Pit on the west side of County Road 22. Hard Rock Screening of Little Falls received the crushing award at $4.15 per yard at the Carlton pit behind the Transportation Building.