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Posted on: January 23, 2020

Recycling moves forward - with a survey

The Minot City Council agreed to move forward with a voluntary curbside recycling program for residents who use the City’s sanitation service, voting 5-2 at its Jan. 21 meeting. But they also voted to conduct a survey of Minot residents to gauge interest in the proposed program.

Council members discussed the recycling issue, which has been a topic of interest for years, at length during the Jan. 21 meeting.

Council member Lisa Olson’s motion was that the City move forward with a single stream, voluntary curbside recycling program as long as 4,000 residents who use the City’s sanitation services express interest. That data would be gathered through a survey and by the City directly contacting all the residents who utilize the City’s sanitation services.

Jason Sorenson, assistant director of Public Works, said data shows that 4,000 customers would be necessary to insure a voluntary program would remain financial viable.

Sorenson said it could take as long as two years for the City to go live with a recycling program once it’s approved. A location would need to be found for a transfer facility, which would then have to be designed and constructed.

Council member Shannon Straight questioned whether it would be possible for the City to partner with Kalix, a private company in Minot that has been in the recycling business for years. But if the City is focused on a single stream recycling program, Kalix officials have said they would not be able to accommodate such a program.

Borgi Beeler from Kalix, which has decided to end its recycling program at the end of January, reiterated to the Council that Kalix cannot partner with the City if the plan is to use a single stream recycling program.

“The path that the city wants to go is different than our business model, and we’ve talked about all that. There really isn’t any way to marry those two together,” she said.

After discussion, the final vote to move ahead with a recycling program and a statistically valid survey was 5-2, with Council members Paul Pitner and Josh Wolsky voting against it.

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