Landfill Vigilant For Illegal Waste - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Landfill Vigilant For Illegal Waste

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One-thousand tons of trash every day.

It's a work load comparable to Fargo and ten times the amount of trash the McKenzie County landfill was initially built for that should have lasted another 30 years.

The county has purchased 30 acres to the south and the expansion carries a new 50 year projection, depending on future population growth.

As Jennifer Kleen tells us, it's not only the volume of trash at the McKenzie County landfill, but the type of waste being brought in that is causing concern.

What is one way to gage the growth of a county?

By the amount of trash at the landfill.

(Rick Schreiber, Director McKenzie County Landfill) "The county is absolutely serious about what can and cannot come here."

Like most Municipal Solid Waste facilities, McKenzie County can take many things, but staff are vigilant about separation and limiting bulk amounts.

(Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill) "Not only because of the regulations, but we don't want to fill the landfill up with stuff that shouldn't be here in the first place."

McKenzie County added an 80 foot floating scale last fall.

Volume is not the only measurement required here.

A Ludlum radiation meter was also added at the landfill entry.

Last year, McKenzie County caught 985 filter socks and Schreiber says it has not slowed down.

(Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill) "It goes off a couple times a week."

It's a $1,000 fine for every sock brought onto McKenzie County Landfill grounds.

For a company that disposes of them properly, it can cost $7-$10,000 to get rid of a box of used filter socks.

(Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill) "If a person can put them in a black bag in a bag in a bag in a box in a bag and then put them in a box and shove them in a truck and get them in here. The off chance that we don't catch them, for them to spend the money to get rid of it legally, they didn't have to spend the money."

Schreiber is looking to the state for an intervention.

His suggestion?

A flat 'environmental' fee during the permit process: $10,000.

And hire a state contractor to pick up the filter socks at the site and remove them for disposal.

The state health department has deemed them 'not harmful,' but Schreiber says more should be done.

(Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill) "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to go down to the trailers that we had in this county and look at it and say this is unacceptable. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to go to Noonan and say, hmm, this isn't right. But it falls to the state saying this is not acceptable, we will not tolerate it."

As McKenzie County grows, it is vigilance that can be gauged at the landfill.

Near Arnegard, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

Construction of the next landfill cell will cost McKenzie County about $4 million.

The current landfill cell should last through the year.

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