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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Even though Dunn County has cancelled the Clean Sweep event this year, residents still have the option of taking their hazardous materials to Polk County and St. Croix County Clean Sweep events.
Megen Hines, the recycling specialist for Dunn County, said at the June 2 meeting of the Dunn County Solid Waste and Recycling Management Board that because Dunn has had memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Polk County and St. Croix County for Clean Sweep in the past, she contacted both counties after the Dunn County event had been cancelled.
Polk County said there would be “no problem” with Dunn County residents bringing hazardous materials, although St. Croix County was more hesitant but agreed to invoice Dunn County for the average cost per participant, Hines said.
St. Croix County officials expected to have increased costs for Clean Sweep this year. Last year, St. Croix County’s cost per participant was $75, and Dunn County’s cost last year per participant was $89, she said.
The expense of Dunn County residents taking their household hazardous materials to St. Croix County is an eligible expense covered by the grant for Clean Sweep that Dunn County receives from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, she said.
Dunn County residents will have to pay the fees charged by St. Croix County and Polk County if they take their hazardous materials to the other counties, Hines said.
Taking hazardous materials to the St. Croix County or Polk County Clean Sweep would be limited only to households and not farms and businesses, she said.
The DATCP grant covers a portion of the Clean Sweep cost.
The Dunn County Solid Waste and Recycling Management Board cancelled the Clean Sweep event at the May meeting as a way to help close the solid waste and recycling budget deficit for 2020.
The Dunn County Board approved a budget amendment at the May meeting for $330,000 to be loaned from the county’s general fund to cover the solid waste and recycling deficit.
Dunn County had a record Clean Sweep event last year, and the cost was $60,000. This year, solid waste and recycling had to issue requests for proposals for a new vendor for the Clean Sweep event, and the cost came back at $95,000.
Canceling the Clean Sweep event will allow $70,000 to be put back in the 2020 solid waste and recycling budget, and the remaining $25,000 can be used to dispose of chemicals and pressurized cylinders and tanks that have been found at the collection sites and are being stored at the transfer station on state Highway 29 west of Menomonie.
Gary Bjork, county board supervisor from Colfax and chair of the solid waste and recycling board, asked if the transfer station would be able to take any hazardous materials from Dunn County residents.
The hazardous materials at the transfer station now have been culled from the transfer floor or have come from one of the collection sites in the county, Hines said.
The transfer station does not have the kind of storage available to store more hazardous materials than what is there now, she said.
Polk County’s first Clean Sweep event was on June 5. Another Clean Sweep is planned for August 21 at the Polk County Recycling Center on state Highway 8 in St. Croix Falls.
The St. Croix County Clean Sweep will be September 24 and 25 near Hudson.
For more information, call St. Croix County at 715-531-1907 or Polk County at 715-485-9294.
A third option for Dunn County residents is to save hazardous waste for the 2021 Clean Sweep event in Dunn County.