Clock ticking for recycling program

By Sarah Pridgeon

Campbell County has issued an extension that will allow the City of Sundance to continue using its landfill as a destination for recyclables until the end of June. As the city will need to secure an alternative solution before this time, the council is currently considering four options.

Jeff Moberg photo
Jeff Moberg photo

“We may have to have a work session or special meeting to make some decisions because with Campbell County the clock is ticking,” said Mayor Paul Brooks at last week’s meeting of the city council.

“The one thing that is going to be for sure is that recycling is going to change. We don’t know how much and how expensive, but it is going to change.”

Brooks explained that the deadline was issued because Campbell County no longer wishes to be in the recycling business. At present, he said, the county commissioners are considering handing over the transfer station and recycling program to the City of Gillette.

“The City of Gillette would really like us to join in their recycling effort. We did get an extension from the commissioners but I don’t know that we have enough of an extension for them to transition out of the garbage/recycling,” he said.

A condition that Gillette will likely impose on a deal to take Sundance’s recycling is that the city also brings its garbage to the landfill, Brooks continued. He told the council that he is unsure whether Sundance can wait long enough for the commissioners to transfer all their facilities and then negotiate a new deal.

“I think, at the end of our discussion with the commissioners, there were probably more questions than answers,” he said.

In the meantime, the city has three alternative options on the table. The first is to take recyclables to Rapid City, said the mayor, though that recycling program does not take cardboard and paper.

Public Works Director Mac Erickson confirmed that he has visited the site and believes it to be a great facility.

The second option would be to continue working with Dave Naughton of Western Waste Solutions, the company currently handling Sundance’s program, to find a new destination for the recycling. Naughton stated that he has conversed with the mayor and would be interested in finding a new solution.

The third option would be to negotiate a deal with Kieffer Sanitation, a recycling organization based in Rapid City.

“I became aware of the potential problem that the City of Sundance has regarding solid waste and recycling and we reached out to the city,” Fred Kieffer told the council.

“We would love to provide a solution for recycling and solid waste.”

Kieffer’s proposal would include a per-ton rate for trash and a curbside recycling program using 96-gallon totes into which all materials go except for paper. Dumpsters would be available at the transfer station.

Recycling would be taken to Rapid City, while trash would be transported to the company’s own landfill in Nebraska.

“It’s not a complicated proposal, but it gives the city a long-term, viable option…independent of working with Campbell County,” said Kieffer.

The mayor commented that it’s early days for figuring out which solution will work best for Sundance.

“We’ve got to sit down with all of this and determine what’s best for the consumers here in the town of Sundance,” he said.

The council is committed to recycling, he continued, so it’s unlikely the program will cease altogether.

“The landscape is changing and the question is, what do we want the landscape to look like, I guess. I haven’t quite got my arms around that yet,” Brooks concluded.