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Sandbag Disposal Plan Moves County Towards Flood Recovery
Robert McKenzie

Sandbag Disposal Plan Moves County Towards Flood Recovery

KOOCHICHING COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~  July 1, 2022 (LSNews)  Koochiching County approved a Sandbag Management Plan at its June 28 Board of Commissioners Meeting. The approval of this plan marks the next step towards flood recovery. The Plan includes options for sandbags to be picked up and removed from residential and commercial properties, as well as an option for property owners who prefer to haul sandbags themselves to dispose of them at the Koochiching County Demolition Landfill without tipping fees. The Sandbag Management Program will be open for participation through October 1, 2022.

“Koochiching County is committed to assisting residents with removal and proper disposal of sandbags,” said Matthew Gouin – Director – Koochiching County Environmental Services. “Because flood waters can contain a number of contaminants most State and Federal agencies state that sand and sandbags that have been in contact with flood waters are considered to be contaminated. Some sources of contamination include gas, oil, pesticides, human and animal waste, bacteria, and numerous other products. In certain instances, there are options for reuse or disposal of sand and sandbags, but these options must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the Environmental Services Department.

All sand and sandbags used in flood mitigation must be disposed of at an approved location.”

Sandbag Management Program Options for Residents – What You Need to Know
1.      Property owners can contact Koochiching County Environmental Service Department at 218-283-1157 or email [email protected] to be placed on the Sandbag Removal/Disposal List, and County representatives will coordinate the removal process. The County may engage independent contractors for sandbag removal and proper disposal. Participating property owners will be required to sign a Right of Entry Consent Waiver to allow the County/Contractor access to the property.

2.      Property owners who prefer to haul sandbags themselves will be allowed to dispose of sandbags at the Koochiching County Demolition Landfill. The County will waive the demolition tipping fee for self-hauled sandbags only after Environmental Services has been contacted to complete a field assessment at the property. All loads are required to be inspected by Transfer Station Operators as they arrive at the facility.                                                                                                                                                                     

3.      Sandbags that have been filled should not be stored for long periods of time. Bags can be stored for reuse during the same flood season, but must be disposed of after that. Sandbags that have not been contaminated by the flood event can be used as fill, in approved areas. Bags used for this purpose must be covered with soil. No bags are allowed in wetland or shore impact areas. Contact Environmental Services to evaluate potential fill sites and/or other options for on-site bag emptying. DO NOT USE SAND TO FILL WETLAND AREAS.

Sand Management
All sand used for flood mitigation purposes must be placed in an area where it will have no contact with humans. DO NOT USE FLOOD SAND FOR SANDBOXES, PLAYGROUNDS, GARDENS, BEACHES OR ANY OTHER AREAS WHERE IT MIGHT HAVE HUMAN CONTACT.

·        Clean sand can also be stockpiled and reused for various purposes such as road construction or winter road sand.

·        Sand can be disposed of at the Koochiching County Demolition Landfill or other county approved facilities.

·        All empty bags, and plastic sheeting, must be disposed of at the Koochiching County Transfer Station or other county approved facility.

·        If a homeowner or business has a question regarding proper disposal, please call Environmental Services Department at 218-283- 1157 or email [email protected]

The Koochiching County Transfer Station and Demolition Landfill is located at 4100 Hwy 11 W, International Falls (approximately 1 mile south of Menards). Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm.

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