Future of compostable waste

Future of compostable waste

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Midwest Recycling Solutions, the only compost facility in our area, abruptly closed its facility near Good Thunder earlier this month.

While this is a temporary shutdown, the search for alternatives for disposal of organic material and what it will take for the facility to be back up and running.

“The owner did acknowledge that he made a mistake taking this by-product from an ethanol plant that is syrupy and then it really affected the pond water and the oxygenation in the compost," co-chair of Mankato Area Zero Waste Betty Winkworth said.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency did not shut down MFS Compost, they did themselves, due to the levels of PFAS, a man-made, fluorinated chemical compound in the water.

So it's up to the facility to get the water levels and odor under control. It's expected to re-open then.

“We just like to caution jumping on everything is ruined, composting is over. Let’s study this. There are avenues out there, we’ve got a legislative group of monies that already there are two proposals for grants that will study PFAS," Winkworth added.

Meanwhile, Mankato is working to find alternative sites.

“There are over 700 users now as well as businesses and churches and other institutions like the schools that are doing composting and starting to look at it and want to continue and so they don’t want to disappoint our community by discontinuing such a valuable service," co-chair of Mankato Area Zero Waste Jane Dow said.

The closest facility to take to is near Shakopee.

“There aren’t too many sites and you also have the difficulty that they seem to be a distance away and so we’re going to have to trek this a distance which isn’t good environmentally, but once you have gathered something for composting, for any kind of recycling it’s illegal to put it into the landfill so you’ve really got to have a place that will process it," Winkworth added.

In June, the city of St. Peter launched their own organic composting program. Two dumpsters are now available for residents to drop off waste.

“The hope is that ultimately you can save some money we love that now for cost the same that’s not bad if it cost more to do this then we have to think about what are we really doing doesn’t make sense do we just want to do it for the environmental purposes but certainly if people want to do it and it’s more cost-efficient and it’s good for the planet that’s really good stuff and let’s try and focus on that if we can," St. Peter City Administrator Todd Prafke said.

Visit Mankato Area Zero Waste’s Facebook page to learn more about composting opportunities and get up to the minute updates on when Midwest Recycling Solutions will re-open.

St. Peter residents will need to register on the city’s website for access to the dumpsters.

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