Compost Rules Get A Vote

Composting amendment gets a ‘no’ recommendation from four of seven members at this week’s Cass County Planning Commission meeting.

The Cassgram reports the proposed county zoning amendment would keep the size limit of composting operations in rec/ag zoning to five acres but allow the introduction of up to 1,000 cubic yards of food waste per year. The introduction of meat and dairy waste product would be prohibited; only fruits and vegetables would be allowed. The emission of odors would be prohibited.

The board of commissioners talked about the amendment on July 2nd but sent it to the planning commission so better standards on determining or measuring odors could be set

Andy Harpenau of Polished Properties—the composting operation on 296th Street that wants to add food waste to its compost mix—said there is a device called an olfactometer that monitors odor intensity. A third party could operate the meter and determine if there is a problem if a complaint is made.

However, some planning commission members had questions about an olfactometer’s use and the subjectivity of dealing with possible odors and the related complaints, said Recording Secretary Marlene Iles.

In the roll call vote on a motion to approve Amendment 63: Ron Nolte, yes; Dave Oehlerking, no; George Tesar, no; Steve Bruttig, yes; Russell Allington, no; Ray Althouse, yes; Roy Smith, no.

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