- Minnesota nonprofit Eureka Recycling is competing with Waste Management for five-year contracts from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Environmental groups in Minneapolis are lined up with Eureka, arguing the firm has low rates of unrecycled materials, a commitment to do business locally, and well paid full-time staff rather than temporary labor. Minneapolis which currently contracts with Waste Management, sees financial benefit and is leaning toward Eureka. St Paul, which currently contracts with Eureka, is undecided.
- In Minneapolis both companies proposed the same revenue sharing split. But Eureka offered a lower processing cost and to waive its revenue share when processing costs outweigh the material’s value.
- In addition to St. Paul, Eureka processes recycling for Roseville, Lauderdale, and some private trash haulers. Waste Management did not reveal its city contracts.
The environmental advocates' focus away from prioritizing the financial bottom line first — at least in Minneapolis — makes a statement.
"I think they just kind of go to our heightened awareness today of thinking about companies in a more holistic way," said Elizabeth Glidden, a member of the committee that will review the proposals Tuesday.
Lynn Hoffman, Eureka's Community Engagement Chief, said the "stars seem to be aligning between Eureka's goals and politics at City Hall where zero waste has been a stated priority of the new mayor, Betsy Hodges. Eureka has worked to incorporate zero waste into its brand.
Some proponents of Eureka have questioned whether this concept is as large a priority to Waste Management, which has high stakes in landfill operations.