With Increasing Costs, Plymouth Moves Toward Single Organics Hauler
The city of Plymouth is negotiating for a single hauler to offer city-wide organics pickup.
Plymouth currently has a contract with Republic Services for standard curbside recycling. That contract is set to expire by the end of 2024.
However, there are around five other recycling and waste haulers offering organic recycling pickup in the city.
The city has the option to extend the recycling contract with Republic through 2027. While extending the contract, the city hopes to negotiate with the hauler to include organics recycling services.
Hennepin County mandates that organic recycling services be available to all households with curbside recycling services. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has also ruled that garbage haulers must charge all their customers for organics recycling even if they do not use the service.
Likewise, city officials say that costs for organic and curbside recycling services are increasing.
“In 2018, the Asian markets virtually stopped accepting all North American recyclables, and what this meant is from 2018 until now is our pricing has increased,” said Chris McKenzie, Plymouth engineering services manager.
The city hopes that by bundling both standard curbside recycling and organics recycling, they can keep costs down for residents.
“Republic Services has offered the city pricing for single sort recycling collection starting at $4.75 monthly in 2025, with a 4.5% annual increase through 2027,” city staff members wrote in a memo to the city council. “Organics curbside collection is based on participation percentage, ranging from 2024 pricing of $3 per month for up to 10 percent participation, to $6 per month for up to 50 percent participation. Organics curbside collection will have a 4 percent annual increase through 2027.”
While the city could ask haulers to bid for the organics contract, Plymouth public works officials said the RFP process could slow the rollout of city-wide organics services.
However, if the Plymouth City Council approves a contract with Republic Services, city-wide organics hauling could start weeks later.
Residents that opt-in to organics hauling would receive an extra refuse cart. Republic would pick-up the organics refuse in a similar manner to any other garbage or recycling pickup.
Plymouth resident Alison Cerier asked the council to consider working with a different hauler.
“Look at the track records of the haulers,” she said. “Cost is important to residents of course, but so is service.”
The Plymouth City Council was not unanimous in its decision.
Plymouth City Council Member Julie Peterson voted against the proposal, saying she’d like to consider issues like customer service when picking a city-wide hauler.
Plymouth Mayor Jeffry Wosje also voted against the proposal.
“I don’t think I’m alone, and I know I’ve heard from residents with some customer service concerns,” Peterson said.
Matt Herman, a representative of Republic Services, said the company has “working and perfecting” organics hauling over the last two years.
“I’m very confident in our ability to be successful on the operations and customer service side,” Herman said.