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County Board debates role of SWAC at meeting

McLeod County Commissioner Doug Krueger’s questions regarding a recent renewal of the county’s recycling contract with West Central Sanitation sparked a lengthy discussion among his fellow commissioners and others Tuesday morning.
Krueger asked if the renewal of the contract with West Central, which was amended to accommodate the county’s switch to single-sort recycling from five-sort, was actually a renewal or a new contract, which should have been let for bids.
Krueger said he was looking for a clarification of whether the contract “should have been let out on bids and tried to save some money.”
The short answer, said McLeod County Attorney Mike Junge, is that solid waste collection contracts are not subject to the bidding process.
Krueger said he had compared the recently approved amended contract with West Central Sanitation with the city of Glencoe’s single-sort contract with Waste Management, and found the numbers to be quite different.
Dan Behnke of Waste Management noted that his company pays property taxes in the county, and that it owns the Spruce Ridge Landfill near Biscay, from which the county gets its abatement revenue from tipping fees.
“We should have had a shot on bidding on this recent contract,” Behnke said.
Krueger also asked if the county’s solid waste advisory committee (SWAC) should have had an active role in the oversight of the transition to single-sort recycling from five-sort “to do some cross checking” on the contract.

For more, see the Feb. 18 print edition of The Chronicle.