Board to attack ‘styrofoam’ problem

Environmental Officer Roger Schroeder told the Lyon County Board a new machine is needed to help handle a growing “styrofoam” problem at the Lyon County Landfill. “This all started because of our work with recycling,” said Schroeder.

“Since we’ve had success with mattress recycling, we thought we’d do the same thing and work with polystyrene,” said Schroeder. The board approved purchase of the new machine that will put the county into the styrofoam recycling business.

“I’ve been amazed at the number of people who bring styrofoam cups and other items to our site. We felt we could grow with this,” Schroeder said about increasing the recycling efforts of the county. “Our department has been working on how to work with this and have others bring their styrofoam to us,” he said.

That brought out the need for a “polystyrene densifier.” Because the machine could help the county make money and Schroeder said, “It sounds like a reasonable project.” Other counties would pay to bring their recycling to Lyon County. The identifier, from GreenMax, INTCO Recycling of China, costs $38,000. But Schroeder felt the purchase of the identifier would eventually pay off with income for the county.

“Funding for the machine would come from grant dollars through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA),” said Schroeder. The county’s share of the cost would be minimal.

“Is there any way to figure a rate of return, or is this a feel-good thing we’re doing,” asked commissioner Rick Anderson.

“There’s a two-fold answer. This is something we hope will pay for itself. Styrofoam is a problem at the landfill,” said Schroeder, adding, “It’s also a feel-good thing.”

SCHROEDER also said the landfill’s leachate water levels are not decreasing as rapidly as expected. “The recent storm caught us up short,” he said.

He said, “We need to get caught up on the water (levels), so it might be necessary to haul leachate to Sioux Falls until the water levels reside.” Commission Chairman Gary Crowley asked Schroeder about potential alternatives, adding, “We need to look at the charges of hauling to area places instead of Sioux Falls.”

Commissioner Steve Ritter also suggested, “We need to look at the charges.” “Look at all other options,” Commissioner Ritter suggested. Commissioner Rick Anderson made the motion for Schroeder to check with other agencies to see where they can get the lowest rate.

Lyon County Environmental Director Roger Schroeder

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