Letter to the Editor (Verndale Sun)
To the Editor:
I have got more than a few emails or letters asking why the rates are so high for garbage pickup in Wadena County?
I’m not sure of the solutions but here are some factors to be aware of: A tipping fee is the amount per ton that county service providers are required to pay to dump a load of “solid waste”. Wadena County’s tipping fee is currently $119/ton delivered to the Perham incinerator.
For comparison purposes, Hubbard County has no tipping charge and they deliver to the Hubbard County Transfer Station. But they also have a $158 solid waste parcel fee on their real estate tax. That’s a lot of money.
And I don’t think anyone would like to see that kind of increase in Wadena County’s current solid waste parcel charge of $60 dollars. That’s the charge on your real estate tax statement.
I don’t know what providers in Hubbard County charge but it should be less than what our residents have to pay. So their $158 charge covers tipping charges and transportation to an incinerator and many other costs at their landfill.
There are 15 counties in Central Minnesota that deliver to incinerators and there are five that deliver to and are part owners at Perham. Wadena’s obligation is 5000 tons per year and our part of the debt is >$2,000,000.
Minnesota via the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency dictates a lot of things relating to waste and the rules are constantly changing. Wadena County has no approved Solid Waste Landfill and the cost of making one or getting a permit to build one is not going to happen.
Options: All five counties involved have the same tipping fee at Perham but most counties discount it using other tax money. Discounting the fee would reduce the providers’ cost somewhat. Another option would be to haul solid waste outstate. But remember we have a contract and a $2,000,000 “debt”.
There are no easy answers and state regulations concerning any kind of waste are getting more and more expensive.
District 4 Commissioner