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File #: RES 16-337    Version:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 2/24/2016
Title: Directing the Public Works Department to solicit input from residents to develop draft goals and objectives for implementing a system of organized trash collection.
Sponsors: Russ Stark, Amy Brendmoen, Dai Thao, Rebecca Noecker


Directing the Public Works Department to solicit input from residents to develop draft goals and objectives for implementing a system of organized trash collection.



WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Chris Coleman are dedicated to making Saint Paul one of the most sustainable cities in the United States and are committed to protecting the environment and public health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving energy and natural resources; and


WHEREAS, Minnesotans produce, on average, more than one ton of garbage per person each year - more than 6 million tons annually, a substantial amount of which is placed into landfills or incinerated, resulting in wasted resources; and


WHEREAS, in the last ten years, mixed municipal solid waste (MMSW) generation has grown by 8 percent and recycling tonnage have remained essentially flat; and


WHEREAS, waste sent to landfills and incinerators generates substantially more carbon emissions relative to waste that is recycled or composted; and


WHEREAS, in 2009 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) commissioned a study (Analysis of Waste Collection Service Arrangements) and surveyed 50 Minnesota cities comparing open and organized MMSW as well as recycling collection systems which revealed that organized collection systems consistently result in lower overall costs (16-34%) to consumers; recycling rates were typically higher; and there was a reduction in noise pollution, road wear, air emissions and fuel consumption; and 


WHEREAS, in Minn. Stat.115A. subds. 1, 3 Section IV. D. open collection is defined as a system for collecting solid waste or recyclable materials where individual residents and businesses are free to contract with any collector licensed to do business in the city and organized collection is defined as “a system for collecting solid waste in which a specified collector, or a member of an organization of collectors, is authorized to collect from a defined geographic service area or areas some or all of the solid waste that is released by generators for collection”; and


WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes authorizes that a city may organize collection of trash, as a municipal service, where by city employees collect solid waste from a defined geographic service area or areas or by using one or more private collectors or an organization of collectors. The agreement with the private collectors may be made through an ordinance, franchise, license, negotiated or bid contract, or by other means; and


WHEREAS, the Minnesota Legislature adopted significant changes to the organized collection statute in 2013 that were designed to simplify the process for adopting organized collection; and


WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul has a long-standing and innovative recycling program serving residents in single-family and multi-unit dwellings, municipal facilities and public spaces and has collected 100,745 tons of recyclable material in the last 5 years and reduced 218,409 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent; and


WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul is committed to reinvigorating recycling participation, educating the community about all the opportunities to reduce waste, recycle more, and divert organic materials from the waste stream and, currently, has an open collection trash hauling system; and


WHEREAS, in 2013, the City of Saint Paul contracted with Wilder Research to conduct a study to identify the most effective strategies to meet the needs of the community and reach waste reduction and diversion goals. The study was conducted with surveys, focus groups and one-on-one interviews. The Recycle it Forward: A comprehensive assessment of recycling and waste management report recommended that the City: 1) launch a major educational campaign to inform residents and reinvigorate their enthusiasm around recycling; 2) expand the number of plastic materials collected for recycling; 3) transition to single-sort recycling collection system with wheeled, lidded carts; 4) transition to a source-separated organics collection system; 5) diversify bulky waste management to offer more convenient disposal and reuse options; 6) coordinate (organize) trash collection to lower costs, reduce redundant truck traffic, and design trash pricing to incentivize recycling; and


WHEREAS, the Wilder Research study found that Saint Paul residents pay more for trash that residents in neighboring communities with organized collection and that more than half of residents surveyed think that they pay too much for their trash hauling services and report problems with street wear and tear, noise and air pollution from garbage trucks; and


WHEREAS, in 2014 the City increased recycling education and efforts to boost recycling in low participating neighborhoods and in multi-unit dwellings, expanded the number of plastic materials collected in the residential recycling program, and implemented single-sort recycling; and


WHEREAS, the City continues to collaborate with Ramsey County to support source-separated organics drop off opportunities within the City; and


WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council adopted resolution 14-519 establishing overall residential waste diversion goal of: 35% by 2016; 40% by 2020; 65% by 2025 and 80% by 2030; and


WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council adopted resolution 15-2093 reaffirming Saint Paul's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pledging to meet Compact of Mayors milestones; and


WHEREAS, over the past year, the Macalester-Groveland Community Council in Taking Out the Trash: An investigation into trash collection in St. Paul researched trash collection in Saint Paul through surveys, community meetings and interviews and urges that the City adopt organized trash collection using the consortium model; and


WHEREAS, the City spends an estimated $250,000 annually collecting and disposing of trash and debris (illegal dumping) in the public right-of-way and in municipal parks; and


WHEREAS, in November 2015, the City released a request for proposals for collection, processing and marketing of recyclable materials from all residential dwellings and designated city locations to expand recycling opportunities; to increase participation; to make recycling more convenient; and more cost effective for residents and the City intends to make changes to the program in 2017 that includes implementing wheeled, lidded carts and moving collection to the same location as garbage that will result in an estimated 35 percent in the amount of recyclable material collected; and


WHEREAS, while the City is transforming other elements of the recycling and waste management system, it makes senses to examine the benefits of an organized trash collection system in Saint Paul; and


WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council is considering organized trash collection system and set aside resources in the 2016 budget to examine the process and to develop educational material regarding organized trash collection system; and


WHEREAS, the City places a priority on maintaining opportunities for small, local, minority and women owned garbage haulers, supporting living wage jobs and labor peace agreements, and is interested in: 1) providing consistent, quality customer service; 2) providing stable and uniform rates for residents throughout the city; 3) improving the understanding of and access to garbage service for new residents and non-English speakers; 4) improving efficiency and reducing the wear and tear on city streets and alleys by eliminating the need for several garbage haulers to be operating on any given residential block; 5) improving the quality of life in neighborhoods by reducing noise, pollution, litter and traffic and improving safety on city streets and alleys; 6) improving options for convenient and proper disposal of bulky items such as appliances, mattresses, tires etc. to reduce illegal dumping; 7) exploring the interest in and need for additional services for yard waste and organic material; 8) reducing costs for the majority of residents; 9) exploring the need, cost, and benefit of cleared and plowed alley access for trash-removal services, emergency vehicles, pedestrian mobility, and public safety reducing wear and tear on city streets and alleys; and 10) providing financial incentives to residents to recycle more and divert organic material from the waste stream;


NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council directs the Public Works Department to solicit input from residents utilizing community meetings, Open Saint Paul, Pop Up meetings, and other methods; to develop draft goals and objectives for implementing a system of organized trash collection; and report back to the City Council in May 2016.


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