Polk County Regional Solid Waste Management Capital Improvements

polk county project site
polk county regional solid waste management
Polk County Regional
Northwestern Minnesota

Polk County Regional is an integrated solid waste management system in northwestern Minnesota that includes Polk County, Beltrami County, Hubbard County, Norman County, Mahnomen County, and Clearwater County.  These counties work together in managing their solid waste, recyclables, and HHW/problem materials. Starting in 2012 Wenck started providing the group information and performing feasibility studies so that the regional partners could apply for a Capital Assistance Program (CAP) Grant through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), allowing them to manage waste more efficiently and increase their recycling.

Between 2015 and 2017, Polk County Regional obtained $17.25 million through two separate CAP Grants, which equate to approximately $28 million of construction projects and equipment with local matching funds.  Polk County Regional retained Wenck to provide assistance with approximately $14 million dollars in capital improvement projects which consist of the design, bidding assistance, construction management, and grant administration for two new transfer stations – a renovated and expanded transfer station, a major addition to the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF), and a source-separated organic material compost pad. The construction projects and solid waste handling and recycling equipment will expand Polk County Solid Waste management services on a regional basis, improving recycling, and the ability to manage their waste streams regionally. 

Polk County currently owns and operates a RRF in Fosston, Minnesota, The Polk County RRF facility operates as a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and a Waste to Energy (WTE) facility. Currently a certain volume of waste is processed for removal of recyclables prior to energy recovery, while the remaining waste is directly hauled to the Polk County Landfill. The County currently receives wastes from the regional group and sells energy generated from the RRF in the form of steam to local businesses. Wenck is currently assisting Polk County with expanding the tipping floor area at the RRF by approximately 18,000 square feet.

This expansion will provide a larger tipping floor, new scale, and site improvements for the delivery of all processable MSW and single sort recyclables. It will also allow the MRF to be expanded and upgraded and increase the overall capacity. With these innovative improvements, the facility can process all the MSW before it is either incinerated or disposed in the landfill with implementation of a single stream collection for the counties.  In addition, the upgraded design will improve the efficiency of recoverable recyclable materials within the MSW waste stream and it will allow the county to continue to remove more of the recyclable materials that are increasing within the waste stream (i.e., plastics) into more individualized marketable streams, maintaining good environmental stewardship.

Wenck worked with Polk County and the MRF equipment designer to facilitate a shell around the equipment and provide an operational layout of the new tipping floor within the confines of the existing property footprint, saving time and money.

Alongside our work at the RRF, Wenck is assisting Beltrami County in renovating and expanding the Bemidji Transfer Station, assisting Polk County in constructing a new transfer station in Crookston, and constructing a new SSOM compost pad at the landfill. Wenck is also assisting Hubbard County in constructing a new transfer station in Park Rapids.  All these projects will help the regional group manage waste and single stream recyclables more efficiently. 

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