Grand Forks Council renews recycling contract

Story by Charly Haley

Recycling service in Grand Forks will stay the same following a vote at Monday’s Grand Forks City Council meeting.

The City Council voted to keep its current recycling contract with Waste Management, with the opportunity to expand services at any time within the five-year contract, as recommended by the council’s service/safety committee.

The contract includes a 10-cent increase to the monthly recycling fee paid by single-family homes in the first year and a 3 percent per year fee increase in subsequent years.

The monthly cost to those homes would be $2.52 per month. The monthly cost to participating multi-family units would be $1.29 per month.

After the council’s vote, LeahRae Amundson, public works interim operations director, said that families won’t see a change in their recycling service.

She said that the city will likely look at expansion sometime within the five-year contract.

“I think they’ll look at the ongoing cost per ton and participation rates,” Amundson said. “It’s likely to be revisited.”

At the earliest, staff could create and present a plan for expansion in 2014 and have the expansion start in 2015.

Under the contract approved Monday, homes can use an 18-gallon city-owned recycling bin or any bins weighing up to 40 pounds full.

An expanded program, including automated recycling with a side-load truck, was defeated by the Council in August.

“We have a sustainable program for the next five years, which is good news,” Amundson said.

Bismarck recently changed from manual to automated recycling, Amundson said. Fargo’s program is still manual recycling, she said.

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