MINOT – Residents of Minot will be charged an extra $2.50 if they choose to recycle due to the City Council’s vote Tuesday.
The Council was given options A and B to vote on, with city staff recommending B, but it was Option A that was moved and passed. Option A will raise the charge of 65-gallon cart collection fees by 50 cents, and 95-gallon carts by one dollar. After a two-month grace period, those still choosing to use recycling carts will be charged the additional fee of $2.50. The rate will go into effect March 1.
Option B would have raised 65-gallon carts by $1.50 and 95-gallon cart collections by three dollars with no additional recycling fees. Though people could still choose not to participate in the recycling, they would still be charged for it.
“In as much as we are for recycling, and I certainly am, I made the motion because we also represent the folks who are not in favor of recycling, and who were given a commitment earlier on that they would be able to opt out,” said Alderman Mark Jantzer. “We hope that won’t be a lot of people, but doubtless there are citizens who don’t want to participate in recycling and we have previously given them some assurance verbally that they would have that option.”
Alderwoman Carrie Evans mentioned other taxes people cannot opt out of.
“I don’t have any children in school, yet I can’t opt out of paying my school taxes,” said Evans. “People may not use the parks. They can’t opt out of that portion of their taxes. We are going to leverage $60,000 by delivering universal carts. It’s going to cost the administration alone of keeping track of opting out.”
With newly constructed or sold houses not having the opt out, Alderman Paul Pitner mentioned those as more revenue to the option A. Three and four-plex houses will also have to opt in. Alderwoman Lisa Olson said with more education she believes people will choose to recycle. Both of them, as well as Alderman Stephan Podrygula, agreed with Janzter that they want to keep the opt out commitment to residents.
Assistant Public Works Director Jason Sorenson said the program has evolved a lot since the original discussion of allowing residents to opt out.
“To implement this program we’re spending a lot more money than we originally intended to,” said Sorenson. “The transfer facility came in probably about double what we expected. The trailers came in much higher than we expected, so we have a lot of money invested in this program, and I thought it’d make sense to get as many users on board as we could on day one. Either option will fund the program, and ultimately it’s you guys that take a lot of the phone calls and have to make the decision.”
The motion passed five to two. Evans, who mentioned she was not on the council when the promise of opting out was made, was joined by recently elected Alderman Scott Burlingame in voting no.
Recycling is projected to begin by July. More information can be found here.