Cloquet Council denies request to extend landfill hours
Additional hours would accommodate trucks carrying Verso Corp. paper waste.
In a split vote, the Cloquet City Council denied a request to extend the hours of the Shamrock Environmental Landfill.
The request would have allowed the industrial landfill — owned by SKB Environmental in St. Paul — to bring up to six truckloads of residual paper waste from the Verso Corp. paper mill in Duluth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The landfill’s current hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
The change wouldn't have allowed any use of heavy equipment during the 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. time period or on Sundays.
During the council meeting Tuesday, Dec. 17, Ward 1 Councilor Warren “Bun” Carlson — who represents the area near the landfill on state Highway 45 — objected. During his campaign in 2018, residents were adamant landfill hours not be extended, he said.
At-Large Councilor Lara Wilkinson agreed.
“I also was door-knocking throughout that ward and it was one of the No. 1 issues that was raised,” she said.
SKB representative Kyle Backstrom said there was little chance the material from Verso would escape landfill and become a danger to residents. SKB trucks are still visiting during the overnight hours, he said.
“Currently, our trucks are going to our facility and they are still backing up and dropping a trailer and picking up an empty and we are leaving,” Backstrom said. “So, from a noise perspective, the activity is still happening. It’s just the exception of dumping of the material — that’s all. We’re still in there and we’re storing the material at our site.”
The pair were joined by Ward 2 Councilor Sheila Lamb and Ward 4 Councilor Kerry Kolodge in voting to deny the extended hours.
Mayor Roger Maki, Ward 3 Councilor Chris Swanson and Ward 5 Councilor Steve Langley voted to approve the change.