June 25, 2020- Recycling

Mayor's Blog June 25, 2020

At the City Council Work Session on May 4th one of the agenda items was the city’s recycling program. Our contract with Waste Management expires at the end of August. We discussed a number of issues relating to this topic; whether or not to add organic recycling, the costs associated with this service, and whether or not to go out for RFP’s (request for proposals).

In 2012, the city did go out for RFP’s and then renewed its contract in 2015 with Waste Management for another 5 year extension. Over the years, the city has found Waste Management to be very competitive in pricing, besides providing excellent customer service for our residents. The contract signed in 2015 had no rate increases for the entire 5 years. Good deal for Minnetrista residents.

Since Minnetrista community under 10,000 in population, we have to offer organic recycling by or before January 1, 2022. Knowing that there are several licensed garbage haulers in Minnetrista that offer this service the Council decided not to implement organics city wide at this time, rather evaluate the options in the next year ahead of the deadline.

Waste Management provided the City Council with a new proposal for September 2020- August 2025, obviously hoping to keep our business.  The global market for recycled products has tanked over the years driving up costs for the vendors who ultimately have to pass those costs on to cities.

The topic of conducting another RFP was discussed, but a majority of the Council concluded that the new rates were very favorable and even better then what some of our neighboring communities were paying on new contracts. It was concluded not to incur the time and expense of an RFP. St. Bonifacius pays $5.30 per month, Medina pays $5.10 and Orono pays $5.25 per month. Orono did decide to conduct an RFP process in September of 2019 and after reviewing the results, they decided to continue with Waste Management.

Waste Management offered us a rate of $4.95/month, an increase of $1.45 per household per month in the first year. However, we haven’t had an increase in 5 years. Below are the rates throughout the 5 year contract.

Keep in mind, these are costs that the City will incur, not the cost to the residents. Historically the city has subsidized the cost of recycling with grant dollars as well as dollars from our recycle reserve fund. The cost to the residents will be determined in the 2021 budget discussions.