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County recycling ordinance returns to committee for work

The road to a consolidated and updated recycling and solid waste ordinance got a little longer after the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors tabled the issue Tuesday morning.

The process hit a snag when Supervisor Linda Luckey said she had concerns about a portion of the ordinance and offered her written amendment to the section on inspections.

"Trash cans shouldn't be subject to government searches. Does the government really need to be snooping through your trash to see if the wrong plastic is disposed of?" she said.

Luckey said a public hearing on the ordinance in November brought a standing room only crowd that spilled out into the hallway. "A majority of the people were not happy with the ordinance," she said.

Ellen Denzer, the county's senior planner, said, "The way it (ordinance) was rewritten after the public hearing, it would not allow for any interior inspections."

She said work on updating and consolidating several ordinances that went into the new measure started in 2008.

"There was already an inspection ordinance on the books. We tried to be much clearer with the whole inspection and compliance sections. We were asked by the municipalities that wanted help with dumping on private lands and empty lots," Denzer said.

Supervisor Buck Malick said while the Luckey Amendment was an improvement, he still had concerns. "Inspection ought to follow a reason to suspect there is a problem," he said.

"Neither the original nor the amendment has yet given the kind of protection that farmers need when burning brush and burying the residue," Malick said.

Discussion continued on the fringe before Board Chairman Daryl Standafer called it to a close and a motion to table the issue and send it back to committee passed on a 13-5 vote.

For a complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.