A new cardboard compactor went on-line this week at the Pratt Recycle Center.

By Gale Rose


There's a new compactor in town. The Pratt County Recycle Center's new cardboard baler "Cram-a-Lot" has been installed and is at work at the recycle center on South Main.

Jason Winkel, county landfill manager, told the Pratt County Commissioners about the installation at their regular weekly meeting on Oct. 16.

The new baler can produce a 1,000 pound bale that is bigger than the previous baler could make. The old Cram-a-lot baler needed repairs that were not available which prompted the purchase of the new baler.

Next on Winkel's wish list for the recycle center is a conveyor belt to help speed up the sorting process at the center. Some recycle materials that come into the center have not been sorted and it takes time to go through all the unsorted material.

In addition to local recycle material, Comanche County brings their recycle material to Pratt and it is not sorted as well, Winkel said.

With a conveyor belt, it would help speed up the sorting process and make the facility more efficient. Winkel said he charges Comanche County quite a lot for them to bring their recyclables to Pratt because they do have to recycle it.

He is also considering a floor drain for milk jugs or anything with fluid because they leak or don't have caps and spill fluid on the floor. Having a lift on a truck would also be beneficial for the center. Winkel will present more information to the commissioners at a later meeting.

Right now, cardboard is bringing in the best money for the recycle center, $155 for a ton, and Winkel is looking for ways to get more cardboard.

A lack of day care facilities continues to be an issue in the county. Darcie VanDerVyver, Director of Public Health, said the situation for infants is especially serious.

Deb Rodda, Kansas Department of Health and Environment child care surveyor, said right now, Pratt needs 30 spots for infants. A new day care planned for Pratt can't take of infants and a facility is needed. Rodda wants to work with a college or hospital or business and team up to provide an infant facility, VanDerVyver said.

Some places in town the are taking care of infants may have to shut down because they don't meet state codes. Another couple may retire soon and the combination will make the situation worse.

State requirements for room modifications for infant care can be expensive and that can be a financial burden some can't cover.

The number of caretakers is also an issue. One adult is required for every four infants from ages birth to 18 months. With 30 infants needing care, finding that many adults could be a challenge.

County Clerk Sherry Kruse requested names of people that might fill the vacant Township 9 Clerk position. The Board offered several names for consideration.