Plymouth Council Approves Organics Recycling Program
Plymouth residents can expect an increase in their utility bills next year as the city starts an organics recycling program.
The Plymouth City Council approved the program this week.
Republic Services will provide Plymouth residents with standard curbside recycling services as well as curbside organics pickup.
The city renewed its contract for recycling services through 2027. The organic curbside contract also runs through 2027.
Hennepin County mandates that organic recycling services be available to all households with curbside recycling services.
Residents that opt-in to the organics program can expect to receive an organics cart in late February, 2024. Citywide organics services and billing will start in March.
Minnesota state statute requires that all homeowners be billed for organics pickup even if they do not use the service.
Costs for Organics
Prices are expected to range from $3 to $6 per month, but depend on what percentage of homeowners opt in. That is, if more residents want organics pickups, the costs for the services will increase.
Organics pickup prices will also rise 4 percent annually under the contract.
Meanwhile, standard single-sort recycling will cost residents $4.75 per month starting in 2025 and rise 4 percent annually.
Under the previous contract, residents paid $3.29 per month.
New Requirements for Hauler
After cities around the metro experienced issues with garbage and recycling haulers in recent years, the renewed contract with Republic has bolstered customer service requirements.
Drivers are required to use electronic GPS routing for collections and log collection times for each pickup, while phone calls to customer service will be routed first to Minnesota-based agents.
The contract also places new financial requirements on the hauler.
“This a reflection of probably the last few years that we’ve all seen in the news where we’ve had performance issues on different contractors,” said Chris McKenzie, Plymouth engineering services manager. “We’ve been fairly insulated from it in Plymouth compared to our neighbors, but we wanted to learn from some of our neighbors. The previous contract had a financial guarantee of $100,000. This contact includes increasing that to $2.5 million. That is able to drawn from should we need to self-perform or hire another contractor should problems arise.”
Plymouth Mayor Jeffry Wosje cast one of the council’s two votes against the proposal.
“My preference would be let the private haulers institute it this year,” he said. “[Let] the private haulers take the hit for putting that charge out there. I also get really really nervous about implementing a new service, especially when there’s only four months and we’re rushing, literally rushing to put this out there.”
Wosje also requested that city billing show organics recycling and standard recycling as two separate line items.