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Landfill is choking in a tide of mattresses

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Adobe Buttes landfill is choking in a tsunami of used mattresses. No one knows where they are coming from.

During a commissioner work session on Monday, landfill manager Kevin Hunt explained that he isn't exactly losing sleep over the issue, but he has no clue to the source of the mattresses showing up at the landfill every week. It has been going on for the past two to three years, he said. He told the commissioners that 13 of the bulky baggages arrived last Monday morning alone.

The minimum is generally 25 per week -- or 1,300 per year. They are arriving without accompanying box springs leading to speculation they are being replaced by the new "super foam" mattresses.

Other landfills may charge up to $20 for each of the cast-off, horizontal hibernation units that comes across the scales. Mattresses are bad for landfills. They don't compact well, and Hunt calculates each one entering Adobe Buttes bound for its final resting place takes up $12.50 worth of space at Adobe Buttes' current rates.

The commissioners' discussion on Monday focused on three elements of landfill management -- when the new higher charges will take effect, how much those charges will finally be, and what to do about all those mattresses. It is quite possible following Monday's discussion that when the new landfill fees do take effect there will be an additional per-mattress charge assessed as well.

• In a separate discussion on Monday, commissioners got an update on the Region 10 broadband project. The report stated that Region 10 is still working to finalize facilities sharing agreements that involve the cities of Delta and Montrose, DMEA and Tri-State Generation. Region 10 director Michelle Haynes and a consultant on the project said they "will be ready to fire up services by mid May" in Delta and Montrose.

Projections on broadband progress have been optimistic; the project is far behind its original schedule. Haynes reported that the equipment for Delta and Montrose carrier neutral locations (CNLs) is on order -- a milestone originally scheduled for completion a year and a half ago. She also predicted that all of the CNLs in the six-county region would be installed by year's end.

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