Recycling Recommendations

Primary Recommendations

Implement 2-Sort Curbside Recycling
The 2-sort method (recyclables sorted into 2 categories: paper products and all others) was considered the most desirable at this time because it would be more convenient for residents than the drop site recycling trailers, the method is affordable based on regional statistics, local commercial entities can process collected material, employment opportunities would remain within the community, and the program could encourage participation by those served by commercial haulers.

The RTF considered a 1-sort method (all recyclables in one container), which is attractive because of the ease for residents. However, at this time material must be hauled to Minneapolis for sorting. The RTF felt that if future technological advances make 1-sort affordable, the city could convert to 1-sort.

Institute “Pay-As-You-Throw” Plan
Residents would pay for weekly waste pick-up based on the size of the container they have, with 2 or 3 sizes available, and an extra charge for additional bags, including yard waste. This would encourage residents to recycle and compost, because they would save money doing so. Pay-as-you-throw more accurately reflects the costs of landfilling material; those who contribute more to the landfill pay more. The recycling program would be voluntary, using the financial costs of garbage collection as the incentive to participate. The RTF also recommends the city adjust tipping fees to further encourage recycling and accurately reflect the cost of landfill space.

Create a Recycling Education Program for Residents
This should be done by the city or the commercial hauler who contracts with the city, or both; education of children and teachers should be included. This must start early and must be comprehensive.

Contract with One or More Commercial Haulers for Recycling Program
Curbside recycling will require specialized collection equipment, staff (including the costs associated with injuries), and a sorting and storage facility. The RTF felt this was best done by a commercial hauler as opposed to the city incurring the additional costs. Collection of 2-sort recycling appears to be affordable, based on region-wide information and the willingness of residents to pay for curbside recycling, as expressed in the survey. The city may be able to contract for a percentage of the profits from the recycled material. The RTF felt this option would make it easier to achieve participation from apartment residents and commercial entities, as these are already served by commercial haulers. Increased volumes may allow for recycling additional types of material, such as glass.

Secondary Recommendations

Continue with drop Site Recycling Trailers

The number of sites and/or the collection frequency at these sites may decrease, based on city information. Consider having a commercial hauler handle the trailers, with the city continuing to collect grass clippings at the sites.

Immediately Implement City Recycling
Focus on city buildings and schools; place conspicuous recycle containers at Bismarck events and at properties managed by the city. The city leads by example!

Encourage Composting of Kitchen and Yard Waste
This would cut down on the amount of material taken to the landfill and may allow the city to decrease the number of yard waste collection sites. Ordinance review would be necessary with regard to kitchen waste composting.

Measure Success
Track the percentage of residents and business that participate in recycling. Track the amount of recyclables and compostable material removed from the landfill.