WILSON TOWNSHIP — A few changes are being made to operations at Cass County’s solid waste transfer sites.

County Administrator Josh Stevenson shared a summary report from the Solid Waste Committee meeting at the Tuesday, Sept. 15 Cass County Board meeting. During the meeting the committee reviewed the status of brush and yard waste at the Pine River and Walker/Hackensack transfer stations. Discussion centered on how to handle the abundance of brush since there is no longer a market for wood chips. With neighboring counties resorting to burning this type of waste during the winter months, the committee recommended Cass County also burn this type of waste when there is 3 inches of snow on the ground. It was noted the Pine River transfer station has enough room to accommodate this procedure, but the Walker/Hackensack transfer station has too much vegetation and is too close to the old landfill to be able to safely burn. Therefore, the waste would need to be hauled to another location. It was recommended the waste be hauled to the county gravel pit in Hiram Township and the board consider bids to haul the material so it can be burned when there is 3 inches of snow on the ground. Commissioner Jeff Peterson asked if the public could just haul their material there and drop off instead of the county moving it. Stevenson said that is something that could be taken into consideration moving forward.

Stevenson also highlighted the discussion that was had on turning the May Township Transfer Station into a self serve transfer station with an honor system payment drop box. It was noted the highway department staff frequents this site daily, therefore the payment box could be emptied on a daily basis. This would alleviate the current problem of illegal dumping outside the entrance fence when the highway department gate is closed.

The third topic discussed was the current building situation at the Pine River transfer station. It was mentioned that there are safety issues with the building, and although the board directed Environmental Services Department staff to pursue grant funds to replace the building as part of the capital improvement plan, some issues needed to be addressed before replacement. Therefore, the committee requested the board approve contractor Mark Beard to address all safety issues identified with the knowledge that the building is scheduled for replacement.

A motion was made by commissioner Bob Kangas to consider bids for hauling yard waste from the Walker/Hackensack Transfer station the county gravel pit in Hiram Township to be burned in the winter, taking the suggestion Peterson under consideration of having the public haul their yard waste directly to the site in the future; consider an amendment to the current May Transfer Station agreement to provide more hours to the public under a self-serve model; and to address all safety issues at the Pine River Transfer using Beard, with all activity paid from solid waste operations. Commissioner Scott Bruns seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.