by Dennis Dalman
This winter, the Christmas trees had to be burned at the Sartell compost site.
At the March 11 Sartell City Council meeting, Public Works Director John Kothenbeutel explained.
For the past 10 or so years, a crew from Benson would bring a giant grinder to the Sartell site and chip up the trees brought by residents to the site after Christmas. The ground chips would fill from 10 to 15 semi trucks, then be driven to Benson to be used in a power plant there. However, that plant has been closed. Kothenbeutel said it would have been prohibitively expensive for the city to acquire a giant grinder to do the chipping-shredding work. Burning was the solution. Sauk Rapids, he noted, used the same method for the Christmas trees brought to its compost site.
Kothenbeutel said he and his staff were very mindful of the weather conditions when they did the burnings.