The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 7, 2014

N. Mankato considers new waste hauler

Hansen Sanitation outbid after decades on the job

NORTH MANKATO — The North Mankato City Council will consider a waste and recycling contract with a Willmar company today that could lower residents’ rates, or at least freeze them.

North Mankato's monthly household trash and recycling rate could drop from $10.87 per house under the current hauler, Hansen Sanitation, to $6.69 for the new company, West Central Sanitation. Hansen Sanitation has collected the city’s residential waste for at least 35 years.

It remains to be seen what would happen to residents’ rates. Part of the savings could be offset by rising waste-processing costs, Public Works Director Brad Swanson said.

“This is allowing us to keep rates where they are at the very least,” he said.

The Mankato City Council at its March 24 meeting approved a contract with West Central Sanitation, replacing longtime hauler Waste Management.

The new contract for both cities would start Jan. 1. North Mankato residents can already mix their recycling in one container, and the new large recycling bins will solidify that transition. Recycling would be collected every other week instead of weekly, though.

Overall, a five-year contract with the new company costs North Mankato $1.85 million, compared with about $3 million for Hanson Sanitation. Those figures assume the contractor owns the carts.

The better price makes for an easy decision, North Mankato Councilman Kim Spears said.

If Hansen’s bid had come in within a few percent of West Central's, the city could have taken its long history into consideration, he said.

“It’s our ultimate responsibility as council members to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money,” he said.

The switch in haulers, assuming it happens, would be another recent setback for Hansen Sanitation.

On Jan. 28, an early morning fire destroyed the company’s building and seven trucks.

The deal will not affect the city’s Riverbend Recycling Center, Swanson said.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

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