Prairieland finds space for waste

TRUMAN – Prairieland is currently storing its garbage because the Wilmarth power plant in Mankato is closed for the month, plant director Billeye Rabbe told the board of directors Friday.

The shutdown is an annual event, Rabbe explained, so that Wilmarth workers can clean and inspect their facility. The power plant will re-open around Feb. 5. What makes the shutdown different is how Prairieland – a waste-processing facility owned and operated by Martin and Faribault counties – is handling it this year.

In the past, some garbage was stored at Prairieland while the rest went into a landfill.

“What changed was our ability to store stuff,” Rabbe said.

Prairieland plant Kirk Langvardt and workers moved some conveyors so the storage area could be used to full capacity.

“Kirk feels he can store most of the RDF (refuse-derived fuel), which is a real plus for the plant,” Rabbe said. “It reduces the amount of garbage going to the landfill.”

In other business Friday:

o Rabbe reported the Christmas tree recycling was a success.

o The board went into closed session to discuss legal matters with Prairieland attorney Kevin Johnson, regarding negotiations with area garbage haulers.

o Rabbe pointed out to board members that she is not making a fund request from the counties this month.

“Better tracking of hauler collection fees, that’s where I’m making up the difference,” she said.

She added that the new year is looking bright.

“The public can be very proud of what we’re doing here,” Rabbe said. “This is a way of producing electricity from what people are throwing away.”