WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 17, 2011, 06:16 PM

Medora recycling may get boost

A volunteer recycling program in Medora is running strong, officials say, and may get boost from city workers.

By: Ashley Martin,

Mayor Doug Ellison said he hopes to have a city worker help with the recycling effort.

“We’d like to provide a city service, say every other day or a couple of times a week to be able to go around and gather cardboard and other recyclables from businesses,” Ellison said

Residents of Medora will continue to recycle on a volunteer basis, Ellison said.

The plan is to assign the responsibility to a city worker part-time during the summer while making sure they have time for other duties, he said.

Wally Owen, who has been volunteering time to recycling efforts for the last two years, said up to a ton of cardboard a week is hauled away from Medora’s drop-off point.

Volunteers gather plastic, newspaper, cardboard aluminum and tin, he added. Boy Scouts have also been active in the recycling program, Ellison said.

Owen is unsure of the volume of other recyclables being taken to the drop site, but said it’s less than cardboard.

“It definitely has an impact on reducing the costs of hauling (garbage) for the city — it reduces it significantly,”

he added. “It’s been going really good and the people have been cooperating really well and it seems to be growing.”

The group began encouraging recycling in an effort to reduce landfill waste, Owen said.

“It’s not a difficult thing to do and it takes some time and a little effort but it will save a lot in the long run, both financially and in landfills filling up,” he added.

Volunteers haul trailers of recyclables to Beach weekly and to Dickinson and Bismarck as needed, Owen said.

Trailers were donated by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and Billings County, he said.

The city also dedicated $6,471 toward the cost of hauling recyclables March 1, Medora Auditor Carrie Law said.

The funding became available due to a billing error, Ellison said.

“What happened is there had been an underpayment on some utility billing, some under billing on utilities and we discovered that discrepancy and we received the payment that had been under billed from a customer,” Ellison said.

Owen is glad the city is contributing and said the fuel reimbursement will help.

Dickinson also received a boost for recycling efforts, according to a press release.

USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider announced Thursday that Dickinson will receive a $20,600 solid waste management grant to implement a solid waste reduction and recycling program.

Based on 2009 figures Dickinson’s landfill has a life-span of 20 years, but with population growth it’s likely much shorter, according to the release.

The solid waste recycling program will use the money toward developing drop-off locations in the community to collect yard waste, used motor oil, wood ashes, cardboard and aluminum. The program also will extend technical assistance to 23 communities that dispose in the Dickinson landfill, according to the release.

The city’s goal for the program is to increase the collection of compostable materials by 1/3 each year for the next three years, ultimately leading to a policy banning yard waste entering the municipal solid waste landfill, according to the release. The collection of cardboard materials is also expected to increase by 1/3 in each of the next three years, according to the release.