The Butler County Commissioner looked at revising its greenwaste policy and policy on out of county trash during their meeting Tuesday morning.

The Butler County Commissioner looked at revising its greenwaste policy and policy on out of county trash during their meeting Tuesday morning.

The first item was the revision of the greenwaste disposal policy.

“Grass clippings is one concern of being mixed in with trash,” said Darryl Lutz, public works director. “At the staff level, we ask this material be reincorporated.”

The Solid Waste Committee agreed and recommended the commission modify its policy to allow certain portions of greenwaste to be mixed with trash.

Commissioner Jeff Masterson asked if the cities of El Dorado and Augusta weighed in on this discussion. He was told representatives of each were present, but neither objected. Both communities have other options for compost materials.

“One thing we want to make clear is that we don’t want to treat this as a mandate,” Lutz said. “We want to treat this as an option. Cities that do their own collection want to divert as much trash as they can that they have to pick up at the curb because that costs them money. They can determine if greenwaste can be put back in.”

County Administrator Will Johnson felt those cities that had not implemented a ban on greenwaste would be supportive.

“If others open it back up, haulers will want to renegotiate contracts with cities,” Johnson continued.

Lutz said the comments they heard from two of the trash haulers at the meeting was that most people have already figured out another way to manage their grass clippings and don’t feel that will change.

“In the past we took this pretty seriously,” Lutz said. “We told haulers if we find it in your load you will have your hand slapped the first time and we will sanction you after that.”
Lutz said they see the addition as beneficial to the landfill in a number of ways.

Masterson made a motion to allow grass clippings, flowers, leaves and other incidentally generated yard waste, excluding commercial waste, be commingled with other waste. It was approved unanimously.

The second item regarding the landfill was out of county waste.

“This was an item the county commission has been discussing the last two to three years because we have initially opened the door by accepting out of county trash from Marion County,” Lutz said. “More recently, we have been approached by the city of Bel Aire.”

He took the request to the Solid Waste Planning Committee.

“They supported this to the extent we are doing this for optimization of operation,” Lutz said. “We see the threshold for full optimization being 200 to 250 tons a day. We are at 130 tons a day.”

Bel Aire has an active recycling program and Lutz said they do not see a dramatic impact on the operation or life of the landfill by allowing them in.

Although the Solid Waste Committee voted to approve it, there were three members against it, mainly because it wasn’t limited to just Bel Aire.

Commissioner Peggy Palmer asked if they had reviewed the recommended ratio of waste to dirt from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Lutz said they had and they recommend a ratio closer to 4-1 and the county is at about 3-1.
“It takes the same amount of soil to cover 100 tons a day as to cover 150 to 200 tons a day,” he said. “Biologically it doesn’t render a healthy environment for decomposition of waste in the landfill. Improving this ratio is one reason we want to bring more trash in – improving revenue and long-term, methane gas production.”

Palmer, who attended the Committee meeting said she thought they felt the motion was unclear whether it was just Bel Aire or opened it up to others, but she felt they supported allowing Bel Aire trash.

Lutz agreed they did want to limit trash to optimize operations.

“We want to optimize the landfill to the best possible extent we can to generate the most revenue possible while extending the life to that 45 to 50 year period,” Johnson said.

Lutz did suspect once an agreement was worked out with Bel Aire, Park City and Kechi would come talk to them.

Another issue for some haulers is having the county allow commingled loads for when they pick up across the county line and then cross over into Butler County, but they would have to look into that further to be sure they didn’t open it up to anyone who wanted to come in.

Masterson didn’t feel a commingled load was a big problem because it wouldn’t be that much trash.

Wheeler made a motion to approve the suggestion to out of county trash if they have an agreement and recycling is in place. It was approved 5-0.

In other business, the commission:

• approved a contract with Finney and Turnipseed of Topeka for the engineering work for the SW 60th Street Dry Creek Bridge replacement project and the NW River Valley East Branch Whitewater River bridge rehabilitation project.