The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 25, 2012

Organic compost site approved

By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer

LE SUEUR —  

A request to operate a commercial organic composting facility east of Good Thunder has been approved by the Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners.

The applicants, MFS Farms of Good Thunder and Full Circle Organics of Minneapolis, propose to combine food waste with materials such as straw and leaves to produce compost for sale to landscapers and similar entities.

“From a (county) policy standpoint, we see this as a good facility in that it will divert this type of material away from a landfill,” County Administrator Bob Meyer said.

The compost’s primary ingredient, food waste, would be delivered to the site under contracted agreements with Minnesota State University and other large-scale food users.

Full Circle Organics spokesman Max Milinkovich could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The firm’s website labels it a cooperative of composting sites throughout the nation that are dedicated to reducing the amount of organic waste going into landfills.

Residents living near the proposed site said at the County Board meeting this week that their concerns about the project include potential odors and roadway dust from increased truck traffic.

One nearby resident, who asked that his name not be used, said he had a philosophical issue with the plan: “Why take farm land and use it for commercial use?”

Some also question why they weren’t notified of the impending board action.

“We’re just finding out about it now, and it’s already been passed,” John Brindley said.

Meyer said prior notices were sent out to all residents living within one mile of the proposed facility, though law only requires notices to be sent to those living within a quarter mile.

The facility will be on an 11-acre plot of agricultural land with a 200-by-200-foot building used to accept compost materials.