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Commission gives nod to waste tire processor
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A Ness County tire recycling company is one step closer to opening a facility near the Great Bend Municipal Airport after the Barton County Commission Monday morning agreed that the firm’s plan meets the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan.
Resource Management Company Inc. is seeking a permit from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a waste tire processing operation at the airport in conjunction with tire recycler Blizzard Energy. Approval from the commission was the last step before RMC submitted its application.
Barton County Landfill Manager Mark Witt said the Barton County Solid Waste Management Committee met April 11 and reviewed RMC’s proposal, determining it was consistent with county regulations.
 In short, Witt said, RMC would collect waste tires and sort them. Those that are good enough would be made available to Becker Tire of Great Bend for retreading. Others would go to Western Ag Enterprises, also in Great Bend, which uses the sidewalls to hold down farm tarps.
The rest would be shredded by RMC and, under contract, go to Blizzzard, located next door. Blizzard would then melt them (about 20 tons per day) and separate them into their component parts.
Twylia Sekavec, RMC president, said her company will process about 4,000 tires per day, or about two semi-truck loads, in Great Bend. They will have space to store 10,000 tires at the location.
In business for 23 years, RMC is headquartered in Ness County where it operates a processing facility and a monofill (a landfill dedicated solely to shredded tires). It also has plants in Julesburg, Colo., and David City, Neb., and serves 1,500 clients in parts of seven states.
With a fleet of 12 semi-trucks, Sekavec said RMC can shuffle tires from site to site if necessary. And, the tires now buried in Ness County can be mined and processed.
This is not a very common business, Sekavec said. “There is a great deal of curiosity,” as well as some fears and concerns.
But, she said, KDHE regulates the business closely. In addition, this is a proven technology.
“This is a win-win,” said Commissioner Jennifer Schartz. By opening the doors to RMC and Blizzard, the county  shows it is progressive.
However, Commissioner Homer Kruckenberg remained leery. He requested the matter be tabled so the commission could tour the site and ponder the matter further.
RMC has no machinery at the Great Bend location. And, Sekavec said, they are kind of against the wall to get their permit from the state due to some unforeseen delays.
The permitting process takes 90 days, she said. Then, they have to get their operation established.
Blizzard officials want to have all their equipment in place and running by August. This means RMC needs to be ready as well, since it is the sole feeder for Blizzard.
Besides, commission Chairman Don Cates said, the commission’s sole involvement was giving the nod to the Solid Waste Committee’s recommendation. Other action would go beyond the scope of that.
The commission approved proposal, with Kruckenberg voting against it.
In other business Monday, the County Commission:
• Approved continuing the county’s membership in the National Association of Counties for $623 for 2013-2014. This includes access to its Prescription Drug Card Program (which is free to all Barton County residents) and other benefits, such as networking, educational opportunities for officials and informational publications.
• Adopted a proclamation declaring this week as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, as requested by the County Attorney’s Office. The week of April 21 - 27 has been selected to recognize crime victims and those who serve them in the community and across the nation, said  County Administrator Richard Boeckman.