Hubbard County Solid Waste Department will no longer allow salvaging at the transfer stations.

The county board approved the new policy at Tuesday’s meeting.

Solid Waste Administrator Josh Holte said the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) recently toured the facilities. MCIT, a joint powers entity made up of Minnesota counties that pool resources to provide property, casualty and workers’ compensation, made recommendations “to improve safety and decrease liabilities at our sites.”

“This new salvage and reuse policy will be to eliminate salvaging and reuse in our scrap metal piles and in our demolition landfill area. We see a lot of people coming in and sometimes getting into unsafe situations when they’re crawling up the face of the demolition landfill and scrap metal piles,” Holte said.

Instead, the north and south transfer stations will have a designated area where good, reusable materials will be placed and residents may take those.

Holte noted the “reuse area” at the south station has already seen a lot of items come and go. “We’ll just try to expand that a little bit,” he said.

The policy states that “salvaging is prohibited on the working face of the demolition landfills or scrap metal piles at any time for any reason. Bulk salvaging of items for scrap value is prohibited.” Violators will have their “reuse rights” revoked for non-compliance with the policy.

It further states that any reuse is “done at the customers’ own risk. The county assumes no responsibility for injuries suffered during reuse or through use of item.”

County commissioner David De La Hunt asked if scavenging will be prohibited everywhere.

The bulk of salvaging occurs in the metal and demo piles, Holte said, but it would be banned in the tire pile and other spots as well.

County commissioner Char Christenson noted that when people take salvageable material, when it was allowed, they were reducing a county income stream.

Holte said the county’s intent was to allow residents to take small parts to repair a grill, for example. “It’s been taken advantage of, where people are filling their vehicles to go and resell the items,” he said.

County commissioner Ted Van Kempen asked if a resident could request that an attendant pull a specific item from any of the piles.

No, Holte said, the county should strictly adhere to the new policy. “I think it could have a tendency to get out of control if people are still going out back and looking.”

The board unanimously approved the policy.