One Bid Received For County Recycling

The Mahaska County Solid Waste Management Commission met on Thursday night to open a bid on recycling within the county.

The Mahaska County Solid Waste Management Commission met on Thursday night to open a bid on recycling within the county.

by Ken Allsup

The bid has no mandates for communities within the county.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The question on everyone’s mind is, where do I take my recyclables and what is the plan going forward for solid waste collection into the future?

A meeting of the Mahaska County Solid Waste Management Commission on Thursday evening brought some clarity as to the price of recycling, but each city will decide how or if they will implement recycling.

For rural residents, no recycling is being planned, with the exception of a potential recycling bin at the landfill, or to have rural residents use the recycling bins placed in the communities that choose to have them.

Midwest Sanitation was the only vendor to submit a bid for recycling in Mahaska County. A Waste Management representative spoke during the public comments, stating they were willing to discuss with any community about their recycling needs.

The bid from Midwest Sanitation broke down the cost for the service by municipality. Eddyville and Keomah Village were not included in the bid, because they already have the service.

Bids for each community paying for their own drop-off bins that would be centrally located in each community include Oskaloosa at $170 each time the bin is collected or “pulled”. University Park $180, Leighton $200, while the remainder of the communities being $222 per pull.

The recycling bins at businesses that county residents have become used to cost $51,000 a year in fees.

“They do not offer a bid to maintain the county-wide system that we have had,” said Stephen Kelly, University Park representative who worked on the RFP for the commission.

Alternatives to the bins are a curbside recycling program, with 96 gallon totes and a single stream service at each household every two weeks. That comes with two options, which include the city’s owning the totes, or Midwest Sanitation maintaining ownership.

The recycling service would cost $9.86 monthly if Midwest Sanitation owns the bins, versus $7.25 if the community provides the bins.

To take solid waste to the Mahaska County Landfill right now costs $20 per ton. The cost to recycle was $32 per ton last year. The landfill rates could increase to help pay for the recycling costs. “The landfill would like to get out of the recycling business and turn it over to the municipalities. Each town can do as they like,” said chairman Alan De Bruin.

“Each city can make the determination of what they want to do going forward. But according to what bids were offered here, maintaining status-quo like we have done for however many years with the commission managing the recycling program, we don’t have an option to do that currently,” said University Park representative Stephen Kelly.

The bid was then being distributed to each community for them to decide how they would like to move forward. Kelly commented that the commission didn’t have the authority to force any community in a recycling plan.

For rural Mahaska County residents, De Bruin said, “The rural is on their own unless we can find a way to come up with a bin for them.” De Bruin suggested placing a recycling bin at the landfill for rural residents.

“If the City of Oskaloosa said, well we want to go with the green boxes again at $170 a pull, then the rural would still have it. They would be covered,” said De Bruin.

“That would be through the City of Oskaloosa,” board member Mark Groenendyk pointed out.

“Well, I guess they bought their groceries in the City of Oskaloosa so maybe the wrappers could go back right?” Asked De Bruin.

“I’m not sure what they’re going to say that,” added Groenendyk.

The commission passed a motion looking for responses from the communities about their intentions by the commission’s November meeting.

Posted by on Sep 16 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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