News Briefs: Wisconsin Music Fest’s Cost-Sharing Agreement Slashes Waste-Hauling Fees

News Briefs: Wisconsin Music Fest’s Cost-Sharing Agreement Slashes Waste-Hauling Fees

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A northern Wisconsin city and its annual country music festival have reached an agreement to treat liquid waste from Hodag Country Fest’s portable restrooms at the city of Rhinelander Wastewater Treatment Plant. According to the agreement, festival organizers will share the cost of the equipment needed to treat the waste.

"It is a fair-share negotiation, and it is a benefit to parties even beyond those who negotiated," says Tim Kingman, Public Works director.

Hodag Country Fest produces up to 300,000 gallons of liquid waste, and it’s often littered with beer cans and other items patrons throw into the restrooms’ holding tanks. Previously organizers of the four-day event paid a contractor to haul waste to a nonlocal treatment plant. Rhinelander’s treatment facility was unable to handle the volume of waste or screen out the solids.

Hauling the waste was expensive and festival organizers long sought to work with the city to find a remedy. This became possible after Rhinelander’s new wastewater treatment plant was built in 2011; however, the plant still lacked equipment to screen out the foreign objects.

That changed in May when the Rhinelander City Council OK’d an agreement to purchase a ScreencO Systems Mega-Screen with Hodag Country Fest organizers taking on one-third of the cost. The plant will now accept 10 to 15 loads of waste per day from the country festival, and the total is expected to make up 15% of the plant’s annual total waste treated.

"The city and all the community members have a strong backing of this event because it provides so much benefit to our community," Kingman says.

The plant is expected to be ready by July 11 when the 42nd Hodag Country Fest kicks off.

Source: WJFW TV-12


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