WILLMAR — If everything continues to fall into place, residents of Kandiyohi County will only need to hoard their recyclables for another month.
West Central Sanitation owner Don Williamson updated the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners Tuesday on the status of the new single-sort recycling program his company will be running for the county.
"We are committed to Sept. 1, we are trying to deliver early," Williamson said.
The 95-gallon tubs, which each household in the county will receive, are being manufactured. In the next several days, West Central Sanitation expects them to arrive in Willmar.
"I think we have 29 semi loads coming up," Williamson said.
The company hopes to store the 15,000 carts at the county's closed recycling center in Willmar as it begins the delivery process, which is tentatively scheduled to take place the last two weeks of July.
"We are moving fast," Williamson said.
If nothing unexpected occurs, curbside recycling could start in August, hopefully by the middle of the month.
"We are still hoping to deliver early, but there are always things that can fall apart on you," Williamson said.
The county commissioners in May approved the contract with West Central Sanitation to provide single-sort recycling in the county, following the decision to discontinue the county-run, multi-sort program. COVID-19, equipment needs and public input all played a part in the 30-year program's end.
A goal of the new program is to increase community participation in recycling, which in turn will lengthen the life of the landfill.
There will be biweekly curbside recycling pickup in all cities and monthly pickup in rural areas, or for those who do not live in incorporated city limits. West Central Sanitation will also deliver Kandiyohi County's recycling to a material recovery facility.
A single-sort system does not require residents to separate different materials from each other. Paper, glass and plastic can be thrown into the tub together.
Trash collecting increases
The pandemic has also impacted the amount of trash being produced at homes. Over the last few months, West Central Sanitation has seen a marked increase in the amount of municipal solid waste it has been collecting from its customers in Kandiyohi County.
"Primarily based on COVID being here and our recycling center being closed," said Gary Geer, county Environmental Services director.
Due to this increase, the County Board approved an amendment to the waste delivery agreement between the county and West Central Sanitation. The amendment increases the amount of municipal solid waste the company is allowed to bring to the county landfill by 15 percent each month. The agreement previously permitted an annual total of 21,000 tons. The amendment increases the annual tonnage to 24,150.
In addition to the rise in West Central's trash deliveries, the landfill has seen a 22 percent jump in the tonnage of trash being brought in by cash customers. It is a similar story for cities and counties across the region.
"They are also experiencing the same volume increase this year," Williamson said.