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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — In the first year of operation, Colfax Solid Waste & Recycling collected 388.28 tons of state-mandated recyclable material.
The per capita collection amounted to 71.93 pounds per person in the Colfax Responsible Unit, according to the report submitted to the state Department of Natural Resources that was included in the packet for the Colfax Village Board’s May 9 meeting.
State law requires all municipalities to either be their own Responsible Unit for recycling or to join another Responsible Unit.
The Colfax RU includes the Village of Colfax, the Towns of Colfax, Grant, Otter Creek, Tainter and Wilson, along with the Village of Elk Mound and Towns of Elk Mound and Spring Brook.
The Colfax RU has a collection site on the “Colfax side” and has a collection site on the “Elk Mound side.”
People who live in any of the municipalities in the RU can take their trash and recyclables to either collection site.
According to the report, the collection of 71.93 pounds of recyclables per person in the RU does not meet the standard established by the DNR of 92.31 pounds of recyclables per person per year.
A certain number of residents in the RU contract with private haulers to pick up their trash and recyclables, but it is not clear from the report how that does or does not impact the pounds of recyclables per person per year in the RU.
Recyclables are hauled to a materials recovery facility, Waste Management Recycling America, in the Twin Cities.
Unlike Dunn County Solid Waste & Recycling, the recyclables in the Colfax RU are “single stream,” which means the recyclables all go into one container and are sorted at the materials recovery facility.
In addition to the mandated recyclables, the Colfax RU collected 30,919 pounds of electronics; 196 major appliances; 2,342 pounds of used lead acid batteries; 3,100 gallons of used oil; 2,500 pounds of used oil filters; 963 waste tires; and 589 cubic yards of yard waste.
To increase the amount of recyclables collected, the Colfax RU intends to do additional education using Facebook, mailing out notifications with water bills, and through newsletters.
The Colfax collection site is located at N9147 810th Street, Colfax, and the Elk Mound collection site is located at 401 507th Avenue, Elk Mound.
When the proposed per capita for Dunn County Solid Waste and Recycling was expected to increase in 2020 from $23 per person to anywhere from $60 to $80 per person, depending on how many municipalities stayed in the program, the majority of the municipalities in the county decided to withdraw from the county program and form their own Responsible Units.
For the first year of operation, the per capita on the “Colfax side” of the Colfax RU was $28.06, and the per capita on the “Elk Mound side” of the Colfax RU was $40.42.
Dunn County Solid Waste & Recycling ceased operations as of December 31, 2020.