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Appliances to be recycled in new building at transfer station

Construction is expected to begin shortly on a new white goods processing and disposal site for residents of Becker County.

Once completed, residents will be able to bring their white goods -- large and small appliances -- to the site for processing and recycling.

The 32-foot by 64-foot, insulated and heated building will be constructed adjacent to the Becker County Solid Waste Transfer Station.

"We'll take out all the hazardous materials (on site) before bringing it out back to be crushed and sent off to the recycler," says Steve Skoog, the county's environmental services director.

The new facility will also serve as a site for equipment maintenance and household hazardous waste collection.

"We've let the contract (on the building), and the footings and foundation are mostly in place," Skoog said. "We'll be contracting out the construction of the building over the next couple of months, and we'll hopefully have it up and running before the seasonal rush (i.e., spring cleaning) starts."

But that's not the only change in store for the county's environmental services department this year, according to Skoog.

"We're hoping to have a new office building out there (on the transfer station property) where we can house our staff," Skoog said.

Preliminary plans call for the office building to be completed by the end of this year, he added.

In the goal-setting session attended by county commissioners and department heads this past week, Skoog said solid waste was listed as one of the critical issues facing the county this year.

"One of the goals we laid out is to increase our recycling rate," he continued. "Another is to develop an educational resource center for county residents who are looking to reduce their energy consumption and make their homes more efficient. That's kind of a whole new area for environmental services.

"We're also planning on increasing the amount of education (for residents) on how to properly handle waste."

Skoog said the county had recently held some meetings with township officials to get their input on solid waste and recycling issues.

"They'd like to see more recycling opportunities and make it (recycling) easier for people to do (outside city limits)," Skoog said. "In rural areas, there's also a need for more disposal options for special waste -- old tires, fluorescent bulbs, etc."

Recently, The Forum ran a story on how the sale of carbon credits at Fargo's municipal landfill could be a major source of revenue.

Though Skoog said there are no current plans to use carbon credits as a potential revenue source in Becker County, "it is something that I think we have to keep in front of us, to keep watching for (future development)."

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's "Preliminary Climate Change Action Plan," released Feb. 1, includes provisions for carbon credit trading programs as a means of enhancing conservation practices in the state.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454