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Stevens Co. Commissioners approve single-sort recycling program contract

MORRIS – On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners officially approved a contract with Engebretson and Sons Sanitary Disposal for a new, single-sort recycling program.

The board also voted to raise the Solid Waste Service Fee from $20 for each household to help pay for the new program.

Starting this summer, residents of the cities in Stevens County will get a 64-gallon recycling container that can be used to recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, tin cans, glass bottles and jars, types one through seven plastic bottles, paper bags, magazines, office paper, milk and juice boxes, phone books and cardboard. The containers will be picked up twice per month.

Rural residents will continue to use the recycling trailers, but will no longer have to sort their recyclable materials.

Under the contract, Stevens County will pay Engebretson's approximately $12,900 per month for the next four years for the program ($154,900 per year). Starting in July 2017, the cost will go down to approximately $9,900 ($119,000 per year) per month because the initial capital costs for the program – new recycling containers and any new equipment – will be paid for, Kleindl explained.

The contract also includes a monthly fuel surcharge that will be added any time the cost of diesel fuel is higher than $4 per gallon.

The board opted to pay for the initial costs of the program through an increase to the solid waste service fee. Households and seasonal recreational homes will see a $20 per year increase, from $45 to $65, or about 44 percent.

Other property classes will see a 44 percent increase to their solid waste service fee. An apartment complex with between one and four units, for example, will see an increase from $68 per year to $98 per year, Kleindl said.

Both the county and Engebretson's want to keep the fee in line with the actual costs of the program, and plan to review it in two years to see if it needs to be raised or lowered, said Kleindl.

The contract will run for five years and will automatically renew each year unless the county or Engebretson's seeks to terminate it.

Troy Engebretson said the new program will get started as soon as the new recycling containers arrive.