Mineral County weighs allowing mattresses at landfill

MINERAL COUNTY — Mineral County commissioners opened a brief discussion pertaining to the acceptance of mattresses and other debris at the county landfill after having tabled discussions in previous meetings.

On June 22, the board heard public comment on the topic from one local individual who said that the county should allow mattresses and other large debris at the landfill to discourage people from dropping the debris off elsewhere, stating that the landfill could handle the intake of larger items.

Commissioners waited until the topic came up on the agenda to further discuss the possibility of accepting more items. County Administrator Janelle Kukuk stated that she had placed the topic on the agenda per requests from the board in a previous meeting and asked commissioners if they wanted to discuss the topic or if they wanted to wait and table it further in order to obtain more information before making a decision.

“It is on the agenda because when you disallowed the acceptance of mattresses and destruction debris, in an attempt to keep room as the landfill was rapidly filling up, you requested that I put it back on the agenda for future discussion at a later time,” explained Kukuk. “If its something you want to table again and think about it, we can do that as well.”

Chairwoman Ramona Weber said that she had some concerns.

“I am not overly excited to allow those items yet,” she said.

Weber continued to state that yes, the landfill had a large trench that could be used to bury the items per landfill requirements but that in the past, previous locations set aside for larger items filled up quickly.

“Unless we charge for it, because it does take up so much room it would be different. Even more, if we could burn them, it would be different as well, but we can’t,” Weber said.

Commissioner Scott Lamb asked if the materials could be compacted, to which Kukuk explained that some of the material could not be overly compacted.

“I think the fine line is that mattresses can’t be compacted,” she said.

Commissioner Jesse Albright continued the line of discussion by stating the main concern was that the springs and other components of mattresses made it difficult to compact.

“I think the sheer amount we received at the landfill last year is why we disallowed it in the first place. Everyone got rid of their mattresses last year due to COVID and I don’t think we would see that influx again this year,” Albright said.

At the end of the discussion commissioners agreed that most of the issues related to allowing the dumping of the above-mentioned materials came down to whether the landfill had the room.

“We have issues when someone destroys a house and brings a huge trailer full of material up all at once and then again with the influx of mattresses last year, I think that is out concern,” Weber said.

It was further stated that the regional landfill outside of Monte Vista accepted mattresses and that the main pit at the Mineral County landfill needed to be finished before any further decisions would be made.

Commissioners voted to table the decision until they had more details.