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City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: November 4, 2021

Decision on recycling program coming soon

Implementing a curbside recycling program has been discussed for a number of years by the Minot City Council. The time is near to make a decision on whether that program will become reality or not, according to Assistant Public Works Director Jason Sorenson.

“I see the next meeting as a kick-off point. It’s kind of a go or no-go point,” Sorenson said at the Nov. 4 Council meeting. “I don’t foresee the Council recommending to build a transfer facility and then deciding not to implement recycling a year later.”

The transfer facility project has an estimated cost of $3.55 million, with the landfill entrance improvements bid coming in at approximately $955,000. Sorenson said his department plans to bring bid recommendations to the Council at the Nov. 15 meeting.

“The last time we spoke about recycling, this Council gave me the direction to go ahead and start designing the transfer facility and some of the landfill entrance improvements,” Sorenson said. “That work is done and those projects are out for bid.”

Sorenson said he’s also done an updated cost analysis of a curbside recycling program in Minot, and reported to the Council that things have changed considerably in the recycling industry.

“Recycling markets have really changed in the last year or two that we’ve been talking about this,” he said.

Sorenson said under previous estimates, the City would have been charged a fee of approximately $76 per ton of recyclable material that was brought to a facility in Minneapolis. Under those estimates, the City would receive a rebate of roughly $60 per ton of materials, meaning every ton would have cost the City money to recycle.

Those numbers have changed dramatically, Sorenson said.

Under an analysis in 2021, the processing fee is still around $76 per ton, but the rebate the City would receive has risen to about $160 per ton, meaning the City would receive a net gain of roughly $84 per ton.

“There’s continued pressure from consumers to buy materials with recycled content so that’s actually creating more demand for recycling products,” Sorenson said, adding that restrictions on recycling imports put in place by China as far back as 2017 boosted the domestic recycling markets.

“I think we can expect about a $50 per ton revenue for the next couple years as an average,” Sorenson added.

If the Council gives the final go-ahead for the transfer station and the recycling program, Sorenson said some details can still be worked out related to how often recyclables would be collected and what materials would be included.

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