Pilot project tests prospects for no-sort recycling for businesses

Nancy Edmonds Hanson
hansonnanc@gmail.com

A nine-month test of no-sort recycling among Moorhead businesses has shown promising results, Public Works Department director Steve Moore told the City Council Monday.
The city was approached by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce last year to study the prospect of adding commercial businesses to the city’s already-successful no-sort program for residential garbage collection. Funded largely by a $35,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Moore’s department began in July to collect and study unsorted recyclables from 47 of the city’s 610 businesses.
The results, he told the council, suggest that expanding the no-sort program appears feasible. According to data from the truck collecting the no-sort waste, not only has participation been high among the test businesses; 73% showed zero contamination, and 95% of the waste could be considered uncontaminated (with less than 10% rejected) – a remarkably high rate of appropriate disposal. The data was generated with RFID tags on bins in the pilot program that are read by the truck performing the collection.
Moore estimated, based on these findings, that instituting the program could divert 800 tons of recyclable waste from the county landfill over the course of a year. “These results tell us it’s worthwhile to continue,” he said. After more review of a commercial fee structure for the service, he plans to return with a proposal for the council in May.
3 cities contract for prosecution services
City manager Christine Volkers told council members that after several months of operation, the city’s prosecutorial services are going very well – in fact, she said, “great!”
The city previously contracted with the Clay County attorney’s office to prosecute misdemeanor offenses. That relationship broke down late last year and ended Jan. 31. Since then, Moorhead has managed its own prosecutions with a staff hired early this year.
In the past, four neighboring cities utilized the same county services, contracting through the city’s arrangement with Clay County. Volkers presented agreements Monday through which three of them – Dilworth, Barnesville and Glyndon – will work with the Moorhead prosecution team under the same kind of cooperative arrangement. Their costs will be similar to what was formerly paid for county services: about $10,000 this year for Gyndon and Barnesville and $55,000 for Dilworth, rising to approximately $11,000 for the first two and $67,000 for Dilworth in 2023.
The fourth city that worked through Moorhead in the past, Hawley, has signed its own contract with Clay County.


A nine-month test of no-sort recycling among Moorhead businesses has shown promising results, Public Works Department director Steve Moore told the City Council Monday.
The city was approached by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce last year to study the prospect of adding commercial businesses to the city’s already-successful no-sort program for residential garbage collection. Funded largely by a $35,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Moore’s department began in July to collect and study unsorted recyclables from 47 of the city’s 610 businesses.
The results, he told the council, suggest that expanding the no-sort program appears feasible. According to data from the truck collecting the no-sort waste, not only has participation been high among the test businesses; 73% showed zero contamination, and 95% of the waste could be considered uncontaminated (with less than 10% rejected) – a remarkably high rate of appropriate disposal. The data was generated with RFID tags on bins in the pilot program that are read by the truck performing the collection.
Moore estimated, based on these findings, that instituting the program could divert 800 tons of recyclable waste from the county landfill over the course of a year. “These results tell us it’s worthwhile to continue,” he said. After more review of a commercial fee structure for the service, he plans to return with a proposal for the council in May.
3 cities contract for prosecution services
City manager Christine Volkers told council members that after several months of operation, the city’s prosecutorial services are going very well – in fact, she said, “great!”
The city previously contracted with the Clay County attorney’s office to prosecute misdemeanor offenses. That relationship broke down late last year and ended Jan. 31. Since then, Moorhead has managed its own prosecutions with a staff hired early this year.
In the past, four neighboring cities utilized the same county services, contracting through the city’s arrangement with Clay County. Volkers presented agreements Monday through which three of them – Dilworth, Barnesville and Glyndon – will work with the Moorhead prosecution team under the same kind of cooperative arrangement. Their costs will be similar to what was formerly paid for county services: about $10,000 this year for Gyndon and Barnesville and $55,000 for Dilworth, rising to approximately $11,000 for the first two and $67,000 for Dilworth in 2023.
The fourth city that worked through Moorhead in the past, Hawley, has signed its own contract with Clay County.

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