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County sharing compost grant

Hubbard County will soon expand its composting efforts.

A Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) environmental assistance grant awarded to Polk County will be utilized by six counties, including Hubbard County.

Source separated organic material (SSOM), such as food scraps and compostable paper, will be collected in specialized containers and hauled to a new compost facility near Crookston.

"The ultimate goal of this project is to divert waste going to the landfill or incinerator, which should result in cost savings for the county, while creating a reusable product in compost," said Hubbard County Solid Waste Administrator Josh Holte.

The total grant application was $250,000, with neighboring counties contributing a match of 25 percent, according to Holte.

"The goal is to purchase 13 BiobiN containers. These are 20-yard containers that are preloaded with wood chips and use an air circulation system to minimize odors and start decomposition," he said.

Hubbard County will likely be allocated three of the BiobiN composters, Holte said.

"We would probably look at placing a container at our south transfer station, and also try and partner with some of our largest generators of organic food waste, such as a school or hospital," Holte said. "For the container placed at the transfer station, we would encourage residents to use biodegradable bags to haul in their organic material, like food scraps. We may look at purchasing specific bags for residents to use."

When full, the containers will be hauled to Crookston and swapped out for empty ones.

The grant agreement is still in the process of being finalized by the MPCA and Polk County, Holte said, "but hopefully we will be able to get the funding allocated soon and start working on this great project."

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