City of New Rockford to consider recycling option with new waste removal contract
February 28, 2022
Next Monday, March 7, New Rockford city commissioners will review bids for garbage collection services in the city.
Besides the obvious goal of getting the lowest possible price on an essential service (garbage collection) without sacrificing service or quality, officials have another target in mind– recycling. Therefore, companies interested in bidding have been asked to include a quote for recycling services.
Amanda Hegland, executive director for the New Rockford Area Betterment Corporation (NRABC), said Tuesday that recycling is among the top priorities that came from the community’s strategic planning process in 2019.
More than 200 people filled out the survey, and 58 percent of respondents said they wanted recycling options. The only amenity desired by more people was additional restaurants, which 59 percent desired.
The Transcript sought to get a better idea about how recycling programs work in other small communities, and two towns in south central North Dakota offered some insight.
Joe Neis, Edgeley City Auditor, says his community has come a long way since they decided to make recycling a citywide initiative.
The community of 550 people, located 90 miles south of New Rockford along U.S. Hwy. 281, began offering recycling in July 2018. Neis said that Edgeley officials prioritized recycling when evaluating contracts for garbage removal services.
At the time the city was under contract with Gahner Sanitation in nearby Kulm, N.D.
The city sought proposals from companies that could offer both garbage collection and recycling services. In the end, they contracted with Recycle ND of Jamestown.
As of February 2022, residents of Edgeley pay $22 per month for a 65-gallon garbage tote. They have a separate tote for recycling, which is picked up every two weeks. For those needing larger containers, a 95-gallon tote is provided for $40 per month.
For Edgeley, the change has overall been positive. The community embraced recycling, and as a result the city’s garbage account went from in the red to back in the black.
“We actually save quite a bit of money,” Neis said. “Tonnage going into the landfill is what really costs.”
The community disposed of 25.09 tons of trash in January, a significant decrease from the 35-40 tons they were tossing out before the recycling program went into effect.
“My wife was a diehard recycler before, and we’d haul our recycling to Jamestown,” Neis noted. “Now all we gotta do is put it in that cart and roll it out to the street.”
The city was so pleased with the service that they renewed their three-year contract with Recycle ND last summer.
Twenty miles to the east of Edgeley, the City of LaMoure also offers recycling. The town of about 900 people has a contract with Waste Management for both garbage pickup and recycling. Residents and businesses also have two separate totes, one each for garbage and recycling. The recyclable totes are emptied once a month, while garbage pickup is conducted weekly.
According to a public notice published Dec. 29, 2021, the City of LaMoure charges $21.50 per month per user for garbage removal services and inert landfill maintenance. A $5 additional monthly charge applies for recycling, resulting in a $26.50 monthly charge for both services.
In comparison, residents of the City of New Rockford pay $26 per month for garbage removal services alone. The service includes weekly pickup of a 96-gallon tote. Auditor Becki Schumacher said Monday that the city is slated to pay $205,000 for garbage removal services in 2022, based on the current Waste Management contract in effect through the end of September.
Commissioners will open the bids for garbage collection and recycling at their regular meeting on Monday, March 7 at 7:15 p.m. The Transcript will publish information about the bids in the March 14 edition, and residents will have an opportunity to reach out to commissioners with feedback before they make a final decision.