Managing farm and ranch waste in Fremont County
Published on Feb. 29, 2020
During the Fremont County Farm and Ranch Days in Riverton Feb. 5-6, Andy Frey with the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District, offered information on the different ways and locations farmers and ranchers in the area can get rid of waste.
Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District
To begin the discussion, Frey discussed some general information on the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District.
“Our main office is at the Lander landfill,” Frey stated. “We have monthly board meetings on the third Monday of every month, except during February because of the holiday, so we have our meeting the third Wednesday of February. The meetings start at 9:30 a.m. at the main office and are open to the public.”
Frey explained the nine-member board of directors are appointed by the county commissioners and serve three-year terms.
“If anyone is interested, it takes very little to get appointed, and we would love to get people involved from different parts of the county,” he stated.
Frey also noted the district has two funding sources. Forty-four percent of their annual operating budget comes from mill levy taxes, while the other 56 percent is made up from waste disposal fees.
“Our annual budget is around $6 million a year,” Frey said. “It takes a lot of money to manage waste in Fremont County because we are rural, spread out and have a low population base.”
According to Frey, Fremont County has four landfills. The Lander and Sand Draw landfills are what he considers primary landfills and can take municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition waste (CDW). He noted Dubois and Shoshoni both have CDW landfills as well.
“We also have three primary transfer stations. One is in Riverton, one is in Lander and one is in Dubois,” he said. “There are six other transfer stations in the county as well – Pavillion, Lysite, Shoshoni, Atlantic City, Jeffrey City and Missouri Valley. We also contract with the tribes to run three sites out on the Wind River Reservation – Fort Washakie, Ethete and Crowheart.”
Managing farm and ranch waste
Frey noted there are numerous solid waste streams on farms and ranches and offered some advice on where and how to manage them in Fremont County.
“Currently, we do not recycle twine string or plastic mineral or protein tubs in Fremont County, ” explained Frey. “Twine can go in regular household trash or in the CDW landfills, so sites to get rid of twine in Fremont County are almost unlimited. Plastic tubs could be recycled if there were enough interest in the county, we just have to be wary of the one-half to one percent contamination rule.”
“It’s pretty unfortunate when we lose money because one of our animals dies on our ranch, then we have to pay to get rid of it,” he said. “Folks can get rid of dead animals at the Lander and Sand Draw landfills and the Dubois transfer station. We don’t manage them at our rural sites because we only haul from those sites about four times a year, and we don’t want them hanging out in our container for three or four months.”
When it comes to burn barrels, Frey noted they are accepted at almost all of Fremont County’s sites but they must be placed in special pits so they don’t catch anything on fire.
“Even if a person hasn’t burned in those barrels for a few months, they will still have hot embers on the inside, so if they dump it off anywhere they can cause a big time fire,” Frey said.
He noted vaccine bottles, empty feed sacks, wooden posts, used oil filters and plastic buckets can all go in with household trash and are accepted anywhere but the Shoshoni and Dubois landfills.
“Used needles and syringes are a bio waste, so we manage them differently in our landfills,” Frey explained. “We will take them at any of our sites with a scale house. Individuals will have to purchase a red bio waste bag for $5 and as much as they can put in that bag, they can get rid of.”
According to Frey, electronic waste is something that can be recycled in Fremont County.
“We take electronic waste pretty seriously because we don’t want it in our landfills,” he said. “Anything electronic has a mother board or circuit board on the inside, which contains a lot of different metals with the ability to transfer into the environment and come in contact with our water. Therefore, we take it at no cost.”
Frey noted used motor oil, as long as it is just motor oil, can be brought to the majority of the sites for no cost. The same is true for antifreeze, lead acid batteries and metal rims, as long as they don’t have a tire on them.
“Tires go with the standard waste at any of our facilities,” he said. “There is no special handling for tires, although that may change in the future.”
Household hazardous waste and chemical cleanup event
For other unique items people are unsure how to get rid of, Frey mentioned the Fremont County Household Hazardous Waste and Chemical Cleanup Event.
“This event is intended to get rid of all the things we don’t normally know how to get rid of at no cost,” Frey said. “It is an opportunity to bring old chemicals in, even if they are unknown because we contract with a group that has an onsite chemist so they have the ability to determine what it is. However, there is no guarantee we can accept everything people bring in.”
Frey also noted they accept household chemicals, aerosol cans, prescription medication, hydraulic and transmission oil, lithium batteries, Freon and paint. However, they do not accept explosives and radioactive waste.
He said the event usually takes place in June and moves around the county.
Hannah Bugas is the assistant editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.