The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 7, 2014

Cities buy new waste bins

Residents to pick container size

NORTH MANKATO — The cities of Mankato and North Mankato have purchased new trash and recycling bins, both from a North Carolina company that offered the lowest of five bids.

Together, the cities will spend $1.18 million on about 28,000 new carts. They’re slated to roll out in advance of a new waste and recycling contract that takes effect Jan. 1 in both cities.

In North Mankato, where the City Council approved the purchase Monday night, the new carts will replace the wide variety of bins used by the current hauler, Hansen Sanitation. Residents who already have bins that can be picked up by a garbage truck will be able to keep them.

If the impromptu post-meeting gathering in a city hall office is any guide, North Mankato appears to be leaning toward gray bins. That was the preference of Public Works Director Brad Swanson.

“We want it to blend into everyday life,” he said.

Like Mankato, it will purchase the bins from Otto Environmental Services, of Charlotte, North Carolina. The city of Mankato appears to be leaning toward black bins, perhaps with blue lids for recycling.

Both cities will offer three sizes of trash bins; 35 gallons, 65 gallons or 95 gallons. Recycling bins will be available in either of the two larger sizes.

The different cart sizes will allow the cities to vary their refuse rates based on how much trash a household produces, said Susan Young, a senior consultant at Foth Infrastructure and Environment.

“It is a way for you to provide a special service at a reduced rate to elders,” she said.

Around July 15, North Mankato residents will receive a mailed form allowing them to choose what size of bin they want. Starting later this month, they will also be able to call city hall, email staff or fill out an online form.

Those who don’t specify a size will get the 65-gallon trash bins, Swanson said.

The new carts will be distributed by the new waste hauler, West Central Sanitation, sometime in December.

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