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Local News

Hastings compost site to have gate with code available to residents only

The Hastings City Council voted Monday to try securing the city’s compost facility to solve the overburdening of the West State Road site. Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays listed several reasons for the problem; non-residents dropping off materials, availability during the day and the drop site being somewhat screened from the road.

 

Officials have also complained that much of the materials being dropped off far exceeds the size for compostable yard waste materials. Hays offered several options to solve the problem; the council unanimously agreed to try adding gates and secure the access to the site. The gate the compost area would be opened by a code that Hastings residents would get from city staff to enter the area and drop off their yard waste.

 

The code number would be changed once a week and residents would give their address to verify that they live in the city to get the code. The total cost to the city will be $7,200. One other option discussed was weekly pickups at resident’s homes by Les’s Sanitary Service (April-November) for a fee of no more than $14 a month, more likely $8 a month, Hays said, added to the resident’s monthly bill. The service would be voluntary, Les’s would supply the recycle bin and the city would keep the spring and fall cleanups.

 

Questions about those who would only want to use the service once or twice a year, if Les’s would ask for a multi-year contract and if a minimum number of customers would be required.

“There is never going to be a perfect solution,” City Manager Jeff Mansfield said. He agreed they should try the gate with a code first and if it was abused, they could go with  curbside pickups.

 

The other options were:

* DPS monthly pickups at residents homes (seven pickups a year) for $2,080 a month or $14,560 a year cost to the city.

 

* Residents dropping material behind DPS garage, with the DPS moving it to the State Road site for $600 a week or $18,480 a year cost to the city.

 

* Continue staffing the site every other Saturday (14 days a year) for $540 a Saturday or $7,560 a year cost to the city.

 

Hays said they have a proposal to process the existing material at the site for $30,000, grinding the material into mulch sized particles and putting it in rows to begin composting, which will take five to 10 years to become viable compost material.

“With the rate the material is coming into the site currently, we will have issues processing all of the material into compost and maintaining compliance with our DEQ guidelines,” he said in his report to the council.

 

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