County to consider purchase of baler for recycling


The Pennington County Board is considering purchasing a baler and conveyor for recyclables. Thief River Falls residents can place their recyclables in containers outside of Hugo’s and Cenex Travel Plaza.

by April Scheinoha

The Pennington County Board is considering purchasing $300,000 worth of equipment to aid in the county’s recycling efforts. Commissioners tabled the request until the full board is in attendance and until after they have talked to commissioners from two other local counties. The request was on the agenda of the County Board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Steve “Beaver” Nordhagen, owner of Les’s Sanitation, had asked the county to use $300,000 in Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment funds for the purchase. He would like the county to buy a 2012 Grizzly 240-T100 Two Ram Baler and 2008 Steel Belt Infeed Conveyor from Mar-Kit Landfill.

“It will cost the taxpayers of the county nothing extra,” Nordhagen said.

The county receives SCORE funds from the state for recycling, improving waste reduction, and managing household hazardous waste and problem materials. Counties are required to match 25 percent of its SCORE funding. Currently, Pennington County has $277,000 in its SCORE fund.

Nordhagen said Mar-Kit Landfill is willing to allow the county to make a down payment of $180,000 and three $40,000 payments from 2019-21 for the baler and conveyor.

The county would need an additional $75,000 to pay for assorted needs related to the purchase.

The used baler and conveyor have a combined 9,065 hours on them. Nordhagen said it is believed such equipment wouldn’t need any work until 60,000 to 80,000 hours of usage.
In 2018, Les’s Sanitation hauled a total of 308.33 tons of recyclables on behalf of the county. Newspapers accounted for the highest amount with 134.3 tons followed by glass with 78.65 tons. Those amounts only include recyclables from residential recycling containers.

County Board is expected to consider purchasing the baler and conveyor at an upcoming meeting. Commissioner Neil Peterson said he sees the value of such a purchase. However, he wanted to wait until the full board could consider the matter since Commissioner Don Jensen wasn’t in attendance.

Peterson also wanted Marshall and Kittson County commissioners’ input since Mar-Kit Landfill is operated jointly by those counties. He expected Pennington County commissioners would speak with their counterparts at the Association of Minnesota Counties meeting later that day.

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