Bag that construction waste

Lyon County offers disposal at no additional cost

Photo by Karin Elton Roger Schroeder, the Lyon County Public Works department administrator, and Kaleigh Barkaszi, a Minnesota GreenCorps service member to Lyon County, give the Lyon County Board an update on the GreenCorps program.

MARSHALL — After a commercial or home renovation, it doesn’t take much to contaminate a load of construction/demo (C&D) waste.

The tipping fee for C&D waste is cheaper ($27 per ton) than household waste ($46 per ton) because there are strict guidelines protecting the groundwater from household waste. The Lyon County Landfill is a collection point for C&D waste which gets transported to another location.

The Lyon County Environmental Office is giving out free waste bags to individuals and businesses finishing constructing or demolition projects. The filled bag must be brought to the landfill along with C&D waste. The Lyon County Landfill will allow for disposal of the waste bag at no additional cost if the construction and demolition waste is uncontaminated and does not go into the MSW Landfill.

Kaleigh Barkaszi, a Minnesota GreenCorps service member to Lyon County, gave a presentation on what she’s been doing this summer to the Lyon County Board of Commissioners at their regular board meeting Tuesday morning.

GreenCorps is an extension of AmeriCorps, which is supported federally and by corporations and foundations for service projects. Minnesota GreenCorps aims to “preserve and protect Minnesota’s environment while training a new generation of environmental professionals.”

Barkaszi said Minnesota GreenCorps has six divisions such as reducing air pollution. She is in the waste reduction sector.

Roger Schroeder, the Lyon County Public Works department administrator, said Barkaszi, who is originally from Florida, has been working in the Public Works department since September (and got to experience a Minnesota winter).

She said working as a GreenCorps service member “has been a really rewarding experience, having the opportunity to take over a project and make it your own and get a result out of it.”

One of her projects has been education and outreach to businesses and homeowners to stop contamination within construction waste.

“Things have always been done a certain way so me coming in as a new face and a new name and telling them how to do things has been a little bit of a challenge, but now that I’ve been here for awhile people are starting to be more receptive to what I’m saying and how I can help them,” she said.

Barkaszi said there is a bag program and also a green contractor program.

Contractors and homeowners can get a 42-gallon bag for trash for items such as caulk tubes, carpeting and treated wood.

“If they need me to come out to their worksite and talk to them, I can,” she said.

“We’ve also contacted homeowners and talked to them about how they can be more sustainable in their homes,” she said. “We just had a homeowner class, which just finished up last week.”

The Lyon County Environment Department has issued a moving guide, which helps people get rid of things they might not want to take with them such as electronics, mattresses, cleaners, microwaves. The electronics can be recycled at the HHW facility, clean and dry mattresses can be recycled at Lyon County HHW facility, cleaning supplies can be taken to HHW facility and appliances can be taken to the collection point at the Lyon County Landfill for a fee.

She was at the healthy and green living expo in May and “homeowners were excited about this program and the bags they were able to take home with them.”

Barkaszi said her time in Marshall will wrap up in July, but her work can go on by others.

“I’d like to see a widespread involvement,” she said.