Linwood — As Leavenworth County's solid waste management committee continues to work on developing a management plan, a Linwood man serving on the committee says he's worried that county officials already have a predetermined plan of action.
The Linwood City Council in October appointed John Bailey, a retired civil engineer, to serve on the committee, which was formed to study solid waste issues facing the county and submit a plan for dealing with those issues.
Bailey said his concerns center on the county's objectives and priorities, adding that county officials seem intent on constructing a transfer station just north of the county shop. Trucks would haul refuse to the station, where it would be compacted, baled and hauled to a landfill.
HE SAID commercial haulers haven't expressed a need for such a facility, and in fact have advised that changes in attitudes and the economy over the next three to five years probably will result in the need for new methods of garbage disposal with a stronger emphasis on recycling.
"I think we need to keep going like we are now and stay abreast of the changes before doing anything," Bailey said. "I don't want to see money spent at this time if we're not breaking anybody's back with hauling."
Another problem with the proposed transfer station, which could cost upward of $500,000, is that while geographically central to the county, it isn't central to the county's most populated areas, he said.
DONALD AARON, Leavenworth County commissioner and chairman of the solid waste management committee, maintained that the 19-member committee is considering all aspects of solid waste disposal, including various recycling methods.
He admitted that he would prefer a plan that called for construction of a transfer station, and eventually satellite transfer stations throughout the county. Cities could employ the hauler of their choice, but all solid waste would go to the transfer stations, Aaron said.
Transfer stations would reduce the cost of hauling trash for long distances because trucks would travel to the one location and then return to their routes, he said.
AARON SAID the time has come to start addressing the problem of solid waste in Leavenworth County. The county landfill, just south of the Lansing city limit, has been full for about two or three years.
"We need to find a way to dispose of solid waste on a countywide basis," he said.
The solid waste management committee meets weekly and had hoped to complete the plan within 90 days. However, Aaron said the project probably will take about an extra month.