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More people equals more trash: Solid waste workshops to be held in North Dakota

Press Photo by April Baumgarten An oil boom in western North Dakota has caught the interest of people across the country, tempting them to come to the area. In response to the increase of solid waste, as shown above Friday in Dickinson, the North Dakota Solid Waste and Recycling Association will hold workshops across the state on solid waste and management issues, which should help remind residents and officials how to properly dispose of garbage in their communities, officials added.

One organization is reminding residents about proper solid waste disposal and management in preparation for more people coming to the area, officials said.

The North Dakota Solid Waste and Recycling Association will hold a workshop on solid waste disposal and management issues. This is one of several workshops to be held across the state, said Jerry Volk, NDSWRA executive director in Dickinson.

"It is to allow operators at the solid waste facilities to listen to the health department explain the current regulations as well as some of the issues brought up," he said. "Our mission is to educate."

The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 28 at Dickinson City Hall, according to a press release.

The workshop is targeted toward city, county, tribal and business officials involved in community development, emergency response and solid waste management, according to the release. The workshop is open to the public.

There has been an increase in solid waste in Dickinson due to an oil boom, Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel said. The workshop will be a good reminder for residents and officials for proper solid waste disposal.

"Not everything should be thrown into the trash bins," he said. "There are limitations."

Volk said the extra waste is causing issues in areas, including staffing at local facilities.

"We are just basically trying to stay ahead of the eight ball," he said. "It's a way to bring the training closer to their needs. Some of these facilities can't afford to give their men a day off."

The city handles solid waste disposal and management for surrounding cities in the area, Kessel said, adding it has excellent service compared to those cities.

"Honestly, dealing with solid wastes is a dangerous business," he said. "There are a lot of things that can be harmful, and we don't want to harm either our workers or the public as a whole."

Dunn County does not have a solid waste disposal facility and utilizes Dickinson's services, Dunn County Commissioner Daryl Dukart said. He added there are concerns about the increase in wastes, and the county is looking into ways to address those issues.

"We are trying to educate ourselves on it and trying to figure out a direction we will take in the future," he said.

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