CITY COUNCIL DIVIDED OVER RECYCLING CHANGES - SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS OPPOSE TESTING PERIOD
NANCY NGO, Pioneer Press
Date: September 25, 2003

The Roseville City Council could decide Monday night whether to overhaul the city's current recycling system.

The council appears divided on whether to switch to a single-sorting system right away or participate in a one-year pilot program first.

Such a system would allow residents to put all recyclables into one container rather than separating paper from plastic and bottles, which is called for under the current system. Instead of 18-gallon containers, households would receive a 64-gallon bin for all their recyclables. This would allow more materials to be recycled per household.

In fall 2002, the city entered into a three-year agreement with Waste Management to continue the current recycling program with some provisions. Under the plan, Waste Management would conduct a free pilot program of the single-stream service. If the city tried the pilot program and decided to change to single-sort, it could then add an additional two years to the contract.

However, Mayor John Kysylyczyn since has said he wants to proceed with the single-sorting program without a test run. Kysylyczyn, who voted for the current contract and its provisions, said he has seen evidence the single-stream service system works well in several cities. He said participating in a pilot program would require money that does not need to be spent.

Gary Boyum, municipal marketing manager for Waste Management, said it would save residents 23 cents per home a month to forgo the pilot program.

Waste Management started implementing its new single-sorting system in January 2002. Since then, 24 cities in the metro area have signed up for it.

City Council members Craig Klausing and Dean Maschka say they want to stick with the original contract and apply the pilot program option. Council Member Tom Kough says he is in no rush to change the current contract. Council Member Greg Schroeder said he wants to move to the single-sorting system without a pilot program because of the savings.

Though going straight to single-sort rather than first using a pilot program would save money, sticking with the current recycling program would be cheaper than single-sort.

Roseville communications specialist Tim Pratt said Roseville's 9,300 households would spend about 21 cents more a month if the city switched to a single-sorting system. Currently, residents pay $2.05 a month for recycling services, an amount expected to increase to $2.11 a month in 2004.

If the city does vote for single-sort and residents have to pay more, Klausing and other City Council members say they want to look into ways the city could get a share of the revenue.

Nancy Ngo can be reached at nngo@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-2149.

2003 St. Paul Pioneer Press and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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