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Minot mayor: City again talking about curbside recycling

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Minot is again talking about establishing a curbside recycling plan.

It’s the only one of North Dakota’s four largest cities without a recycling program.

Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said a few years ago, the city was ready to launch a program. The city even purchased equipment to make it easier for city crews, and bought the special receptacles.

"Then the recycling market fell into the tank when China said, 'We don't want your garbage any more,'" Sipma said in an interview with Prairie Public.

Sipma said the city pulled back on its plans, so it could get an idea of what the real costs would be to start a recycling program.

"Our option is to literally truck all of our recycling in bulk to Minneapolis, to its sorting facility," Sipma said. "There, it would be put into different streams for recycling."

Sipma said he thinks the costs are pretty much nailed down, at least with the market as it is now. He said it will likely cost Minot residents another $5 to $7 per month. And at this point, he isn’t sure if the majority of the citizens are willing to pay that price.

"If we are just loading all our recyclables and hauling them to Minneapolis, simply to be bailed and sitting idle, waiting for the market to return, is that responsible recycling at this point?" Sipma said.

The city will be holding a series of meetings on the proposal – to gauge community interest.

"Some folks still don't quite comprehend that, a city our size can't just start our own recycling process, because the economics are not there," Sipma said.

Sipma said he expects the city will have to make a decision within the next year to 18 months.

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