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Paynesville Press - June 25, 2003

Township, city to offer oil recycling depot

By Michael Jacobson

Coming this summer, local residents will be able to recycle used oil, used oil filters, and antifreeze at a 24-hour self-service recycling depot at the Paynesville Township maintenance garage.

Both the city of Paynesville and Paynesville Township have agreed to back this facility. The actual facility will be built at no local cost, with 75 percent from S.C.O.R.E. funds (which come from a tax on garbage service to promote recycling) and 25 percent from the East Side Oil Company of St. Cloud, which operates a dozen oil recycling facilities including nine in Stearns County.

East Side Oil Company will provide a $2 million insurance policy for the facility.

The city and township will be responsible for day-to-day maintenance, including emptying the cash box, calling East Side Oil Company to collect recycable material, and checking the tank for leaks every month. The township estimates that local costs could be as much as $2,500 per year, which will be split between the city and township.

The oil recycling station will be located near the township maintenance garage, though its exact location has not been established yet. The 4,000-gallon, double-walled tank for used oil has been ordered, and the facility could open by August.

The facility will be open 24 hours per day and will have places for used oil, used oil filters, and antifreeze. While disposing used oil is free, residents will be asked to pay 50 for each used oil filter that is recycled and $1 for each gallon of antifreeze. These charges will be made using the honor system and a drop box. These charges should cover the cost to process these recyclable materials. If there is a shortfall with these payments by users, the city and township will have to cover the difference.

Jim Feneis, owner of the East Side Oil Company, told the township board last month that between 600,000 and 2,000,000 gallons of used oil are illegally dumped in Minnesota each year, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. "The bottom line is everyone has done a great job in recycling paper and plastic, but the most hazardous thing in people's hands is used oil," he said.

The contract for the oil recycling depot is for five years, after which time either party could opt out of the agreement, with 60 days notice, though they would have to pay for the demolition costs.

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