A few more minor modifications need to be made to the transfer station scale house to maintain COVID 19 precautions, explained Environmental Services Director Mark Gamm to the Dodge County Commissioners at an October meeting.
The entry door will be changed so it swings to the right instead of the left. The door will also have door access controls installed. With the change to the door, customers can enter the structure more easily and the attendant can control the number of customers in the scale house better. Most business is conducted through a plexiglass window but at times, customers do go into the scale house.
Gamm also explained that a temporary shelter was added to one side of the scale house and it offers protection from the weather as customers wait for service. The shelter will be reinforced to provide a more secure shelter against wind, snow and rain.
At a previous meeting, Gamm explained that additions to the technology system at the transfer station have allowed the facility to reopen to the public on Saturdays.
Before the pandemic, the busiest day of the week for public drop-off was Saturday.
However, with the social distancing requirements, the transfer station had to be closed on that day for a few months because of the number of employees it would have taken to handle all the transactions for that busy day and the impossibility of them staying six feet apart.
For example, the loads must be looked over, the appropriate fees charged, and then the payments must be taken.
That would have taken a minimum of two employees. And, the scale controls, computers, cash register, credit card machine and the printer are all located close together in the scale house.
“Therefore, we could not operate on Saturdays without breaking the six-foot separation standard between employees,” Gamm said.
Even though the transfer station wasn’t open on Saturdays between mid-March and August, customers still were able to receive full services during the pandemic.
From March through June in 2019 about 10,700 visits were made to the transfer station. In 2020, during that same time period, about 9,500 visits were made to the facility.
That equates to about 3,000 tons of garbage in 2019 and about 3,300 tons in 2020.
Of particular note, there were 180 self-service customers in 2020 and exactly half that; 90, in 2019.
Construction debris totaled about 2,500 yards in 2019 and in 2020, that amount doubled to about 5,000 yards.
Recycling dropped slightly from 575 tons in 2019 to 473 tons in 2020.
These figures do not include appliances, electronics, and other special waste, explained Gamm.
The hours for the facility will remain from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays and on Tuesdays through Fridays, the facility will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, hours at the facility from 8 a.m. to noon have resumed.
Customers are reminded that the self-service waste depot is open 24/7/365. Gamm encourages county residents to sign up for this facility if they do not have access to commercial hauler services.
For more information about signing up to use the Self-Serve Waste Depot, contact (507) 634-7875 or (507) 635-6273 or use the county website at www.co.dodge.mn.us and click on Environmental Services, submenu garbage disposal/recycling.The transfer station is located at 62236 24th Ave, Kasson.