ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, issued a pair of letters to Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday regarding waste collection services in Greater Minnesota, particularly the state contract that gives exclusive collection of waste at state facilities in 51 of 87 counties to a single waste hauler.
Lueck said his concern was sparked when Waste Management Inc., of Minnesota, refused to assist the DNR in dealing with deer remains collected in and around Special Chronic Wasting Disease Zone 604 at the DNR CWD check station located at Aitkin.
In one of Lueck’s letters, he recommends to Walz that Waste Management be disqualified from its current state waste management service contract. In part, the letter reads:
“This company despite holding the exclusive state contract for waste, recycling and organic services for state facilities within Aitkin County refused to provide specialized collection services for the DNR chronic wasting disease (CWD) check station at Aitkin. This resulted in unnecessary confusion over the disposal of deer remains associated with DNR Special Deer CWD area 604. Their action fails to demonstrate the cooperation that is expected of companies doing business in Minnesota in support of the state's extensive effort to combat CWD in Minnesota’s wild deer herd.”
Despite the complication presented by Waste Management’s refusal to assist, the DNR says it will have 26 dumpsters available for deer hunters this year key locations in both central and southeast Minnesota to safely dispose of carcasses after completing deer registration, chronic wasting disease sampling and deboning of the meat.
In a separate letter, Lueck requests the governor provide four specific data points that would shed some light on how local rural waste hauler companies are impacted when the state awards a contract involving 51 of 87 counties to a single vendor, Waste Management.
Lueck wrote the state Waste Management contract “would appear to provide a competitive advantage to one of the larger companies over local waste haulers in over 50 counties primarily in rural Minnesota. The rural waste collection system was built by local waste haulers in cooperation with our rural counties. I question the wisdom of making it more difficult for these local rural companies to survive.”