Becker County recycling center is going to more than double in size. Mattresses will be recycled in one large corner, with the metal and wood mechanically separated on “spin tables” – with the metal recycled and the wood reused when possible. The mattress fabric will be baled up and recycled. Mattress disposal is a problem all over the state, and Becker County will be the regional mattress processing center for all of northwestern Minnesota.
A large cross-bunker conveyor will carry cardboard and other recyclables to the crown jewel of the whole operation – a big new auto-tie baler. It will preside over the largest space created by the expansion. It will be nearly twice as fast as the older baler now being used, and won’t require nearly as much manpower to operate. It’s also capable of much heavier, more condensed loads, which will save the county money on hauling, and open up more market options, said Becker County Land Use Director Steve Skoog.
Other parts of the larger building will provide space for electronic waste and appliance recycling, and one corner area will become a tip floor for commingled recyclables. “The tip floor (where truckloads of recyclables are dumped) is not big enough in the summer,” Skoog said. “There’s times they can barely get the garage doors shut.”
With $750,000 in state grants for construction, the Becker County Board took the plunge and approved the $2.5 million construction project. That will grow the building from 12,000 square feet to 31,500 square feet when it’s finished next fall.