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City, Sunflower partner for recycling
Recycling trailer to be located in downtown Great Bend
new_deh_city council recycle trailer pic.jpg
Pictured is the recycle trailer operated and maintained by Sunflower Diversified Services that will be located in downtown Great Bend. The City Council Monday night approved helping Sunflower purchase the trailer.

Looking at it as a way to improve recycling efforts in Great Bend, the City Council Monday night approved collaborating with Sunflower Diversified Services on a related project.

The council OKed reimbursing the agency for the purchase of a recycling trailer at a cost of $6,000. It will be located on the city-owned lot at the southeast Corner of 18th and Williams.

“Staff believes that this is a great first step towards expanding recycling within the city,” Francis said in the joint effort.

Sunflower has been involved in recycling for 18 years, said SDS Executive Director Jon Prescott. In each of the last four years, the effort has brought in around three million pounds of recyclable materials. 

“We want to do more than that,” he said. “We want to double that in the next six to eight years,” and this trailer will help reach that target.

In addition to keeping more stuff out of the landfill, Prescott said this will also allow the Sunflower to give more of its clients meaningful employment. 

After hearing requests to have a recycle facility closer to downtown, Sunflower Diversified had approached administration about collaborating on a recycling project. The agency had located a refurbished recycling trailer for sale for approximately $8,000 in Beatrice, Neb., which is roughly half-price of a new trailer and in excellent condition. 

Sunflower requested assistance from the City in purchasing it. The idea was for the city to purchase the trailer and park it in a city-owned parking lot in the downtown area. 

In exchange, Sunflower would dump it for free every other week. 

However, Prescott said since that initial meeting, the company who owned the trailer indicated that they would not hold it until Council could vote to purchase it. As a result, Sunflower made a substantially lower offer and it was accepted.

Sunflower purchased the trailer for $6,000 and Monday asked the city to consider reimbursing them for the expense. Administration has had conversations with Sunflower regarding long-term ownership and maintenance, and they are willing to enter a maintenance agreement. 

Councilman Cory Urban expressed concerns about regular trash being dumped in the trailer. 

Prescott said there would be signs noting it was for recyclables only. It is divided into receptacles to make sorting easier, although Sunflower clients who work at the recycle center also sort through the materials.

Urban, who noted he is a regular visitor to the recycling facility, also asked about the hours at Sunflower’s existing recycle center at 5523 10th St.

Prescott said they are planning on expanding the retail business. This would mean longer hours for the recycling. 

“It think this is a great idea,” Councilman Andrew Erb said. It helps make Great Bend more environmentally friendly.

Francis recommended the program be evaluated in one year. If deemed successful, the City would consider giving the trailer to Sunflower.

Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:

• Approved collaborating with Sunflower Diversified Services on a recycling project.

• Approved a rezoning request for Venture Corporation. The company plans to open a sand pit and asphalt plant within the three-mile zoning radius of the city limits. The land is being rezoned from agriculture to light manufacturing-service commercial.

The council also approved a conditional use permit for Venture to allow the project to go forward.

• Approved an amendment of Flood Plain Management Ordinance: The Federal Emergency

Management Administration has updated the countywide flood maps effective February 2019. In order to qualify for flood insurance in the community, the city has been directed to update its flood plain management Ordinance. There are no structures impacted by the change, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. 

Letters of map amendments previously issued will be renewed by FEMA when the new maps take effect. The Planning Commission has held a public hearing the ordinance has been reviewed and approved by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

• Approved a third change order for the waterline replacement project not to exceed $254,584.71.

The Public Works Department requested additional waterline replacement along Park Avenue from Holland Street to Frey Street. This includes replacement of an existing cast iron line that is in poor condition for a total length of approximately 1,460 feet.

The cost includes $191,165 for the lines, $3,500 for the additional construction documents from the city’s on-call engineering firm, Professional Engineering Consultants of Wichita and $39,559.71 for meters and other modifications.

The remaining budget available to date for additional improvements totals $773,053.60. 

• Heard a report from Community Coordinator Christina Hayes. She focused on this coming weekend’s Christmas season kick-off events.

• Approved abatements for accumulation of refuse at: 1714 Adams, owned by Grace Fanatia; 720 Morphy, owned by Quincy Stahl; 1610 Odell, owned by WHB; and 1715 Holland, owned by Carlos Chavez.

• Awared  APAC out of Hutchinson the contract to install the new water lines on the new stretch of Eighth Street between Grant and McKinley. This company, which offered the low bid, is the also the contractor in charge of the on-going water line replacement project in Great Bend.