Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

New Things Are Happening at the Environmental Department

By Tina L. Van Zile, Environmental Director

Our Tribal recycling center received BIA ARPA funding last year, and the previous Tribal Council budgeted for a new garbage compactor, cardboard baler and new rolling garbage containers for home residents.

Our garbage compactor was 26 years old and would always break down during the winter months. The cold weather tended to freeze up our machine and it would stop working. On Tuesday, our new compactor was installed, and it runs quieter and smoother. This compactor has the capacity to crush 10 tons of garbage every three weeks.

On June 12th, a semi-truck delivered 388 of the new 64-gallon garbage containers. These containers have the Tribal logo and are labeled with our department name and phone number. Each container has a serial number so we can keep track of them.

The Environmental Summer Youth workers have been working hard installing all the wheels on the containers. We will begin delivering the containers to each home resident on July 3rd.

The containers are very easy to move, and we will resume requiring residents to place the containers at the end of their driveways. The containers will remain the property of the Environmental Department, and they will stay with the home address. For example, if a resident moves, they leave the containers with the home for the next resident.

This past April, we received funding for a new cardboard baler. This machine allows us to compact all our cardboard and sell it to a local recycler. While it may not be huge income, every little bit helps with expenses.

SCI Funding
On June 15th, August Van Zile received approval from Sokaogon Chippewa, Inc. (SCI) to pay for everyone’s garbage disposal fees. This covered everyone’s arrearages, and paid for the remainder of 2023 and all of 2024. Thus, no one will have to pay for their own garbage disposal until January 2025.

As of June 1st, the Tribe is charged $25 per unit for refrigerator disposal, as well as any appliance that has freon. Normally, we would then require the resident to pay the $25 fee. However, Sokaogon Chippewa, Inc. also provided funding to the Environmental Department to cover refrigerator disposal for 2023.

We want to thank August Van Zile for all his efforts to obtain SCI funding. It is greatly appreciated, and I am sure all the residents will be grateful once they read this article!

New Environmental Administrative Assistant
The Environmental Department has a new Administrative Assistant – Jackie Braun – so, you will see a new face in the Environmental Department.

This new hire allows the Environmental Department office to be available to Tribal Members every day. I am often out of the office for meetings and trainings, and there was no one available in my absence. This was a much-needed position because the department has many projects going on at the same time. Welcome Jackie!