MOORHEAD — The Clay County Landfill has a problem with mattresses: they are bulky, so they take up a lot of space and they tend to rise to the surface of the landfill, creating issues.
According to county officials, the Clay County Landfill receives about 2,000 mattresses a year, many of them from college dormitories and a local homeless shelter.
As a long-term solution for dealing with old mattresses, the county intends to team with the city of Moorhead to build a new, $14.5 million solid waste campus that will include a new garbage transfer station in the area of 15th Avenue and 32nd Street in north Moorhead.
Plans call for the transfer station to be fitted with equipment capable of grinding up mattresses to the degree that the material could then be transported to an incinerator in Perham, Minn., for disposal.
Kirk Rosenberger, the county's solid waste director, said county officials hope the state Legislature will pass a bonding bill that includes funds that would help Clay County pay for the solid waste campus, though it's unclear whether a bonding bill will pass this year.
The county requested $8.5 million from the state. At this point, if a bonding bill passes, it appears the county might receive something closer to $7.5 million, according to Rosenberger.
As a short-term solution for dealing with mattresses, Clay County has applied for about $80,000 in grant money from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, funds the county would pool with other dollars to help cover the cost of a temporary recycling program for mattress disposal.
If the grant funds are forthcoming, Clay County would set up a process to recycle mattresses between January 2021 and November 2021.
During that period, mattresses would be collected at the landfill and recycled by a company called 7 Rivers Recycling at a cost of $15 per mattress.
If the new solid waste campus is built in Moorhead, it will replace the current transfer station located on Highway 10 on the east edge of the city.
County officials say the current transfer station, which is owned by the city, is about 40 years old, in need of repairs and is undersized for the needs of the county.