PLYMOUTH CO. — The Plymouth County landfill may soon be a drop-off site for hazardous household waste.
Recently, the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency Board approved moving forward with constructing a Regional Collection Center at the landfill.
“It’s a building that we will put in here to handle hazardous household waste such as paint, stain, oven cleaners,” said Mark Kunkel, landfill manager.
Currently, hazardous household chemicals cannot be brought to the county landfill, he said.
The Regional Collection Center (RCC) will be about 30-by-60-foot, inside an about 60-by-70-foot pole building, with the remaining space used as a storage shed for the landfill.
The RCC building with have an attached explosion-proof building, where flammable chemicals can be stored, said Mark Loutsch, landfill board vice chairman.
The explosion-proof building will be 16 feet long, 8 feet wide and 9 feet tall and will be made with fire-resistant wall board and steel reinforced walls.
Loutsch explained that the building will be constructed with a four-hour burn time.
“If something would explode or burn inside the building, burn time is how long before it (fire) would come through the walls inside and affect anything else,” he said.
The explosion-proof structure, estimated to cost $33,000, will be built off-site and moved to the landfill, Loutsch said.
To make room for the new RCC, a green building east of the current landfill office will be torn down, Kunkel said.
“That’s an original building that was put up here in 1974,” he said.
The storage-area portion of the new building will be paid for with dollars from the landfill’s budget, Kunkel said.
However, construction costs for the RCC and explosion-proof building will be paid with help of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grants, Loutsch said.
The DNR has verbally approved a $10,000 grant to be used in the current fiscal year and a $24,000 grant in the first quarter of 2013-14, he said.
“There could be more money in December, but we’re not guaranteed that,” Loutsch said.
Since last July when Plymouth County severed its ties with the Cherokee Solid Waste Agency, there has been nowhere to take those hazardous materials, Kunkel said.
The closest disposal site is the Woodbury County landfill, he said.
“In the past we went into each community and picked it up and delivered it to Cherokee,” Loutsch said. “Right now, it’s sitting in people’s garages and stuff.”
Building an RCC and explosion-proof building at the Plymouth County landfill will be a nice service to offer locally, Kunkel said.
“It’s a better place to get rid of there than people throwing it in the ditches or garbage where it shouldn’t be,” he said.
In the past, a Des Moines company, Clean Harbors, was hired to pick up the hazardous materials for disposal, Loutsch said.
“We can only store it for certain period of time,” he said.
Loutsch and Kunkel are hopeful the RCC and explosion-proof building will be ready for use sometime this fall.
“I want to try and have the RCC open by hopefully September and then that will be open year round,” Kunkel said. “We will have a place for this stuff to go.”