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SKB will add new recycling efforts

SKB Environmental accepts municipal solid waste ash at its Rosemount facility. Within that ash are tiny particles of recyclable metals.

There’s a market for those metals, and landfill manager John Domke said SKB wants to tap into that market. The company has partnered with a recycling company called Gem-Ash to build a facility to separate the metals and sell them.

“We are really excited about this. It’s right down our alley. It’s environmentally friendly and makes good sense,” said Domke.

SKB operates an industrial, construction and demolition waste landfill in Rosemount. The landfill is located at 13425 Courthouse Blvd. on the city’s east side.

The company receives ash from the Hennepin County Incinerator which contains a variety of recyclable materials, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Domke said Gem-Ash approached SKB about the partnership, and SKB conducted some experiments to see if the idea seemed plausible. The research came out with positive results and Domke said he feels confident the partnership will result in a successful business venture.

To process the ash, SKB plans to build a recycling facility on its Rosemount property.

The technology SKB will use can filter out bits of metal smaller than the point of a pencil. The technology uses magnets to remove ferrous metals from the ash and air currents to separate the non-ferrous metals.

SKB will process the ash coming in as well as process ash already on-site in the landfill.

The technology is used frequently overseas, especially in Europe. Domke said a plant in Massachusetts started recycling metals from ash about a year ago and has had a lot of success. He said he’s confident SKB and Gem-Ash can too.

After the recyclable materials are removed from the ash, the metals will be put into separate containers and transported to appropriate facilities as markets allow. Domke said they are confident they can sell the recycled metals and that the storage on the Rosemount site will be temporary.

Last week, SKB went before the planning commission to request an amendment to its interim use permit to allow construction and operation of a recycling facility. After a public hearing in which they received no resident comments, the commission recommended the action to the city council.

The Rosemount City Council will consider the amendment to SKB’s interim use permit later in the summer, as will Dakota County.

Domke said they hope to start construction on the facility shortly after receiving all the necessary approvals.

If all goes as planned, Domke said they hope to start operating in the fall.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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