“I wanted something more than a straight desk job,” Solid Waste Administrator Drew Hatzenbihler said. “I wanted to be active outside too.” He found what he was looking for in his position of Solid Waste Administrator at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center.
Hatzenbihler began his new job at the center in the summer of 2017. At that time, the position was merged with the education coordinator position. His job includes managing the transfer station in Preston, administrative duties, applying for grants, periodically checking the rural recycling containers, and handling public education.
A native of Rochester, Hatzenbihler attended St. John’s University where he majored in environmental studies and minored in computer science. After graduating from college, he lived and worked at Eagle Bluff for a year and then lived in Lanesboro for a year after that. He now lives in Chatfield with his wife.
Hatzenbihler first realized that he was interested in the environmental field when he took a class in high school. After taking an introductory course in college, he decided to major in environmental studies.
“Everyday is a new adventure,” Hatzenbihler said about his job at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center. “It’s always something new, which is good.” Working at the center has allowed him to see just how much people, himself included, take trash and recycling pick-up for granted and don’t give it a second thought once it’s out on the curb. “There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” he pointed out.
The trash that is picked up in Fillmore County is hauled to Iowa, and most of the recycling goes to La Crosse, Wis. Some of the recycling comes into the recycling center though and it’s Hatzenbihler’s job to load it into bins and then into a semi trailer to be hauled to La Crosse. “We’re not set up to process it,” Hatzenbihler explained.
Hatzenbihler doesn’t have plans to make any changes at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center at this time as he’s still learning as much as he can about the center and how it works. He is definitely open to implementing new ideas in the future however. “Anytime that we can reduce the amount that we throw away, it’s beneficial,” he said.
Watch the Fillmore County Journal for Drew’s future educational columns titled “Recycling 101.”
For more information, call the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center at (507) 765-4704.