County renews contract for compost sites

The Anoka County Board has renewed its contract with the operator of its two yard waste compost/tree waste processing/yard waste transfer facilities.

The existing contract with Specialized Environmental Technologies Inc. (SET) for the sites in Bunker Hills Regional Park and Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park expires Feb. 28, 2013. The renewal approved unanimously by the board on the recommendation of its Waste Management and Energy Committee is for three years through Feb. 29, 2016.

The new contract does increase a couple of charges for residents to drop off compost/yard waste/tree waste at the two locations.

The tipping fee for each vehicle dropping off de-bagged yard waste will increase from $4 to $5, but the fee of 50 cents per cubic yard of yard waste in excess of four cubic yards will not change.

The other increase come for branches of six inches or less in diameter, from $6 to $7 per cubic yard.

All other charges remain the same for residents.

• Branches or logs greater than six inches in diameter, $10 per cubic yard.

• Trunks/stumps greater than two feet in diameter, $40 a cubic yard.

• Christmas trees, $1.50 per tree.

An additional fee for what are called dirty loads – tree waste usually contaminated with dirt or other foreign material – may be charged in an amount agreed to by SET and the county.

In addition, uniform rates are charged for delivery of yard waste by commercial haulers or lawn services or transferred from an Anoka County municipal yard waste drop-off site.

According to Brad Fields, county integrated waste management director,  the contract will continue to require that SET transfer all yard waste for composting to other location within 72 hours of receipt or earlier if the odor becomes a problem.

A small amount remains on the site to be processed into compost for residents to pick up free or charge, Fields said. This has been in place since 2006, he said.

According Kevin Nordby, one of the owners of SET, the tipping fee increase is needed because of higher costs of transferring the yard waste off site for processing.

But the transfer of the yard waste is important to ensure that SET remains good neighbors with the residential neighborhoods near the sites, Nordby said.

County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, chairman of the board’s Waste Management and Energy Committee, said the county has had an excellent long-term relationship with SET, which will continue with this agreement.

The Bunker Hills site is located at 13285 Hanson Blvd., Coon Rapids, while the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes site is at 7701 Main St., Lino Lakes.

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