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Otter Tail County Recycling Facility Receives Bonding Bill Support
March 5, 2018-The Minnesota Legislature has the opportunity to create sustainable industry in greater MN by funding the retro-fit of Otter Tail County’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Otter Tail County seeks $3.1 million to retrofit its source-separated clean materials recovery facility (MRF) to a single-sort MRF to process approximately four times the amount of material on an annual basis. A 2013 Statewide Waste Characterization study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) indicated that statewide, “Over 760,700 tons of recyclable material are currently not being recovered, and instead are being disposed of.” The retrofitted MRF is expected to have a substantial positive impact on the entire region and increase recycling volume 20-30%.
A recent move to single-sort recycling by the cities of Fergus Falls and Perham have shown a substantial increase in participation in recycling and materials collected. A significant reduction in waste has also occurred. An independent study, conducted in 2017, confirmed that retro-fitting the Fergus Falls site into a single-sort facility is the most fiscally responsible option compared to building a new facility or transporting materials to the metro area.
“We have seen an increase in the collection of recyclable materials which has amplified the need for more equipment, additional employees, and a larger space for more material,” remarked Commissioner Lee Rogness, who recently visited legislators in St. Paul to discuss bonding projects for Otter Tail County.
The Otter Tail County single-sort MRF is expected to add eleven permanent full-time employees, twenty-five construction jobs and $2 million in annual revenue. Otter Tail County sought support from local leaders to introduce the bonding proposal. Representative Bud Nornes (District 8A) brought forth a bill (HR 2756) this session in support of Otter Tail County’s ‘single-sort facility funding.’
“In order to provide the service of single-sort recycling that so many people want, we need to expand and retrofit the Fergus Falls Recycling Center to handle this material locally. That’s why we are asking for state dollars to help us get there,” commented Zach Fjestad, Otter Tail County Assistant Solid Waste Director.
To share your voice on this and other legislative matters please contact your local representatives. For more information about Otter Tail County Solid Waste visit co.ottertail.mn.us/177/Solid-Waste.