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Richfield City Council Postpones Decision on Implementing City-Wide Garbage Collection System

After a second lengthy discussion, the Richfield City Council decides to hold-off on going to a single-hauler system.

Representatives of four area garbage collection companies made a push for the city to not “get into the garbage business” Monday night and succeeded, for now.

Currently, the is considering going through the legalities to be able to bid out collection of all the city’s trash to one hauler, in hopes of reducing costs for residents and promoting sustainability of roads and the environment.

However, haulers made many arguments against doing so.

“We are in favor of keeping the system the way it is,” said Bob Elliott, of Aspen Waste Systems and also a Richfield resident. “[The current system] gives everyone a chance to grow and keeps prices being competitive.”

Elliott added that school buses, which can travel up and down the roads up multiple times a day, and delivery couriers also contribute to the road wear and tear.

Mark Stolpman, general manager for Randy’s Environmental Services, echoed Elliott’s feelings toward city-run collection and also expanded on Elliott’s point about road wear and tear. According to Stolpman, garbage trucks are constructed and the wheels are weighted to be balanced and to not place uneven weight. In addition, weather conditions are also largely responsible for road wear and tear.

“Heat, sun, freeze, thaw,” he said. “The environment does a lot of damage.”

Stolpman also went further by saying a small decision like garbage collection doesn’t need to take up the city’s time.

“You have a lot of important decisions to make,” he said. “Who your hauler is, [just like] who your barber is, who your pharmacist is … citizens don’t want you making those decisions.”

According to , there are six garbage haulers that are currently licensed to operate in Richfield. Quite obviously, going with just one collector would cause a loss of business for a handful of companies.

However, with the six current haulers and with residents able to chose their service, three trucks—compost, trash and recycling—could be traveling down every street on every pick-up day.

asked haulers for their ideas on another way to reach the city’s objectives without changing the current system, however no substantial ideas were brought to the forefront.

Currently the City of Maplewood is implementing a single-hauler system. With this knowledge, the council decided it would watch Maplewood’s experiences and also gather more information on the environmental impacts of garbage hauling. Stolpman will be part of a committee studying the environmental impacts and will likely share information with the council when it becomes available.

Dennis Gillespie December 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM
It would have been nice if they had stuck to that job, now they are a third wing of government, un-elected, they are into mass transit planning, community planning and I am not certain what all.. This is another reason States like South Dakota and Texas are looking more and more apealing.
Tony Zimmerman December 27, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I'd be all for this regardless of cost. I don't need 5 different garbage trucks - Aspen, Allied, Waste Management, Bert's, and Randy's rumbling through my back alley every Friday and 10 every other Friday at 6:30 am.
Greg Mangold December 27, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Dennis, We will have to agree to disagree on the role of government. Since you mentioned Texas as being appealing, I just checked on-line and noticed that the city of Dallas picks up its garbage by using city employees. (The city of St. Cloud does this, too.) I am not suggesting this for Richfield. I am suggesting that city send out a request for proposals to the private sector and then select the best bid. For those of you, who like this approach, I recommend that you contact the city council. Contact information for the council is available on the city of Richfield web-site.
Caitlin Burgess January 02, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Hi all, here's the latest on this issue. Looks like the League of Women Voters is looking into it. A new discussion has started as well. http://patch.com/A-0KlS
Brian Lindemann January 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM
I live in St. Michael and I have sent request to our city stating that we need to go to a single hauler as well, but have the request has never been responded to. We have 4-5 garbage trucks tearing up the streets every week. Asking the business leaders that would potentially be impacted for advice or opinion on the matter is a pointless conversation - what did the patch or the city expect to hear from them?? Everyone of those companies would bid against each other in a heartbeat on an RFP that gave them 100% of the business for 3 years. My understanding of the city of Mpls garbage removal is a mix of City employees / equipment and routes that the city bids out to contractors but it eliminates multiple trucks on the same roads saving the roads that we as tax payers pay for... Single garbage haulers should be mandated in every city and it is the responsibility of government leaders to know this without being asked or told...

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