Pulling out of an outdated landfill compact with 14 other counties will mean Ellis County can take better advantage of any relevant state grants, according to Bill Ring, public works director.
Ellis County since 1994 has been a member of the Northwest Kansas Solid Waste Authority, which was formed back then to help them hire a single consultant to guide them through new federal landfill regulations.
“They allowed counties at that time to put a group together to have one consultant figure out the new rules for all of them,” Ring said. “But really the group doesn’t do anything now. People are used to dealing with the new rules.”
There have been times the authority has hampered Ellis County, because some other members were late turning in required filing documents. That interferes with members like Ellis County from applying in a timely manner for grants from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, he said.
“If your paperwork is not up to snuff and everything isn’t filed correctly, you are not eligible to get the grant money,” Ring said.
Landfill Foreman Vern Ruder will present the proposed withdrawal to the Ellis County Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday in the Administrative Center, 718 Main.
Ring cited the example of a tire amnesty project the KDHE occasionally sponsors, in which local landfills are supplied grants that allow the public to drop off old tires for free and the county pays a recycler to pick them up and haul them off. Ellis County would like to participate in such events, he said.
The Ellis County Sanitary Landfill, which serves Hays, Ellis, Victoria and Fort Hays, is a transfer station and doesn’t actually bury its trash, but rather pays a contractor to haul it elsewhere. Over the years it’s been hauled in enclosed semi trailers as far as Topeka, but more recently it goes to Garden City.
Inner-Circle Trucking L.L.C., Hays, hauls the county’s trash five days a week, depending on the volume.
“If we have a lot of trash, they might go twice a day,” Ring said.
In reality, the 15-member trash authority hasn’t served a purpose for nearly a decade, Ring said, and is in the process of being dissolved anyway.
“It puts an undo hardship on us,” he said. “So we’ve asked about getting out.”
In other business, the county will also discuss whether to implement employee raises for 2019 since funding was set aside for them in the budget that was adopted in August.