- Currently in St. Paul, MN, homeowners can negotiate contracts with any of 19 local haulers, but garbage truck traffic is an issue. The city hopes that revamping trash collection and mainstreaming routes will resolve this issue — while also creating economic benefits from decreased wear and tear on trucks and lower customer costs.
- City officials are exploring different trash collection options including a master contract with a consortium of local haulers, and separating the city into specific zones assigned to different haulers.
- St. Paul will choose one recycling partner and organic waste collector in 2016. The recycling partnership would begin January 2017, and the organic materials request for proposal will go out between April and June.
St. Paul homeowners pay an average monthly fee of $30.46 for trash and recycling services, including access to drop-off sites and a 90-gallon trash cart. In Minneapolis, the fee is $23.66 and includes additional services such as recycling with wheeled carts, yard waste removal, removal of bulky waste and alley plowing. Therefore, it is clear that St. Paul has potential room for improvement.
There are many questions arising from a pending decision to go with a single hauler or one consortium. Would customer service be affected if residents don’t have choices, or should people have the right to opt out of services? Will this single-contract model limit competition and, ultimately, drive up cost in lieu of an ordinance to explicitly regulate hikes?
As these and other questions arise, the city must consider measures to ensure a smooth roll out. So it is investing $330,000 to hire consultants to help get answers and support, including assistance with public communications and outreach.
Two recent studies have equipped the city with knowledge to help assess for a feasible solid waste and recycling collection strategy. Key points stemming from both studies are that providing multiple haulers increases cost, noise and alley damage.