Potential Hazmat site discussed

A proposal to build a Household Hazardous Materials site next to the recycling center was tabled, to give the board more time to consider it, at the monthly meeting of the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency’s executive board Tuesday night.

The board also got a tour of the landfill’s newest cell, which will begin taking in garbage as soon as approval is obtained from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The HHM site would keep household toxins such as oil paint, drain cleaner and heavy metals from going into the landfill.

The board heard a proposal for an HHM regional collection center from Engineer Wade Greiman from Snyder and Associates, the same firm that designed a similar facility in Bondurant.

The proposed site would be about 6,000 square feet, Greiman said, including a receiving area, truck docks and its own parking.

“Based on the needs we received in our discussions,” Greiman said, “this facility including design and construction could be upwards of about $1.5 million, depending on the building itself.”

The board also discussed the possibility of a smaller satellite facility in Humboldt. Board Chairman Mark Campbell estimated it would cost about $125,000 to build that facility.

Some of the surrounding counties have satellite facilities, which send their materials to larger regional collection centers. There are HHM disposal sites of some kind in 93 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Disposal is free for individuals, as well as some small businesses.

The DNR would like to see a site here, but no government agency is requiring that the site be built, said Steve Kersten, the waste agency’s attorney.

The attorney general’s office did not direct the agency to establish a household hazardous materials collection site, according to Geoff Greenwood, communications director with the Iowa Department of Justice.

“Rather, our office conveyed that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources would welcome such a facility, and the state would take that into consideration as it works to resolve the pending matter regarding the previous alleged violations,” Greenwood said.

The board voted 6-1 to table the proposal until the next meeting. Jeff Halter voted no, saying it is needed.

On the tour, board members heard how space is running low in the landfill’s two active cells.

The newest cell has 2 feet of impermeable clay plus a thick plastic liner, to keep any liquid from seeping into the ground, said Interim NCIRSWA Director Cindy Turkle.

Currently, construction is done, and DNR staff have done a visual inspection. Final approval to start using the cell could come in as little as a week; the agency is still waiting for some needed paperwork, Turkle said.

The cell is nestled between the two currently active cells, and would be able to accept trash for about three years.

The agency is currently negotiating and designing a way to fill a pie-piece shaped area on an abutment which, if approved, would allow the cell to be filled much fuller, taking on trash for about 10 years, she said.