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Deep dive into local recycling

To the editor:

The Houghton County Board seems dead set on dumping the Houghton County Transfer Station, a self-sustaining operation, so Houghton County can have county wide recycling. Houghton County already has county wide recycling. Waste Management picks up recycling in Houghton and Hancock. As far as I know, residents in Kenton, Sidnaw, Donken and other areas of the county can pay Waste Management to take their recyclable materials. I was the engineer of record for the design and construction of the transfer station. Before the 28 acre site was purchased, County board members and county administrators visited transfer stations from Ironwood to Iron Mountain and south to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Several of the facilities had recycling facilities. As a result of these site visits, the county board decided to build a transfer station that would be self-sustaining on a parcel large enough to include space for future recycling. The current 28-acre site has plenty of area for a recycling facility.

The Recycle Group (RG) talked the county board into cardboard recycling. One member of the RG stated at a county board meeting that the cardboard recycling facility would generate enough revenue to make the transfer station bond payments. I was at that meeting. Currently the cardboard recycling facility is draining several thousand dollars a year from transfer station revenue.

If the county board read a newspaper other than the DMG, they might learn that recycling programs are in trouble across the country. If recycling is such a good deal as touted by the RG, why don’t they open their own recycling center while it is still a semi-free country? There is a site on county property off Old Mill Road with access to sewer, water and electricity. The County Board would surely lease that property to the group. I suspect the group does not have the conatus or sedulity and their principles are not deep enough to start such an operation using their own or borrowed money.

If the county board read a newspaper other than the DMG, they might learn that recycling programs are in trouble across the country. If recycling is such a good deal as touted by the RG, why don’t they open their own recycling center while it is still a semi-free country? There is a site on county property off Old Mill Road with access to sewer, water and electricity. The county board would surely lease that property to the group. I suspect the group does not have the conatus or sedulity and their principles are not deep enough to start such an operation using their own or borrowed money.

The RG claims that their survey of 395 people in the county indicated that a majority of county residents are favor of recycling. Perhaps the board should ask all county residents if they prefer to have their dollars spent on recycling or on road improvements. Recycling isn’t free. Dump the transfer station and everybody in the county will undoubtedly see their costs for waste disposal increase.

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