Fire destroys Waseca County waste facility and recycling center


Waseca County’s Solid Waste Facility and Recycling Center was destroyed by an early Wednesday morning fire.

At 7:18 a.m. the fire was reported at the facility located about 5 miles south of Waseca on the east side of Hwy. 13, according to Waseca County Administrator Jessica Beyer.

“The Waseca County Solid Waste Facility is closed until further notice due to a fire,” Beyer said in an afternoon news release. “All employees made it safely out of the facility and no injuries were reported.”
Ellendale, Janesville, New Richland and Waseca Fire departments were among early emergency responders at the scene. The Owatonna Fire Department was also called in to assist, Beyer confirmed, and North Ambulance service personnel also remained at the scene through the afternoon as a precautionary measure as departments continued to douse the facility’s smoldering debris.

“It’s still not completely out,” Beyer said in a phone interview at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. “It’s a huge shock. We’re just really thankful that everyone of the employees got out safely.”

Beyer said “it was just business as usual” when employees began to arrive at the facility at 7 a.m. In short time, the fire call was issued.

“Right now, we’re working on operational plans so we can continue services,” Beyer added. “It’s a very heavily-used facility. Some of the services we can set up temporarily somewhere.”

Beyer issued thanks to all emergency responders. Other departments which assisted included the Waseca County Sheriff’s Office, Waseca County Highway Department and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Beyer said the State Fire Marshal’s Office made it to the site in late afternoon and will have to return to complete its investigation.

No cause of the fire is yet known.


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