The bottom line is more competition for the contract will likely mean better bids, Krivit said.
Making it easier for residents to recycle should also reduce the amount of trash they put in the garbage cart, meaning the city will face reduced garbage volume, said Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges. With the cost of garbage disposal running at $80 a ton, the savings could be substantial if more recycling occurs. The city expects to share those savings with residents who agree to accept a smaller garbage cart than the current 54-gallon variety in return for a lower monthly garbage fee.
The city has offered to do a joint bidding process — known as a request for proposals — with North Mankato. That city operates its own recycling center in conjunction with Nicollet County, which complicates any decision to make the transition to single-stream recycling there, and the North Mankato City Council is still considering whether to make the switch. Hentges said North Mankato will have to decide soon whether to join Mankato, and Mankato Councilmember Tamra Rovney ended the discussion with an enthusiastic expression of the council's eagerness.
"Let's get the RFP out," Rovney said.