Weather Forecast


Recycling effort keeps growing

With five collection sites located in Detroit Lakes, recycling continues to climb and the county is looking at more options.

Tuesday evening, the city council passed a resolution of support for the county and those options.

In 2011, with only two pick-up sites in Detroit Lakes (at the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store parking lot and M State), there was a total of 123,653 pounds of recycled goods collected. In 2012, the Becker County Fairgrounds arena area and near the Becker County Human Services sites were added, and the intake was increased to 423,759 pounds for the year.

Then this year the Shorewood site was added, and the estimated pounds collected this year is 578,320.

There are 47 collection sites total in Becker County.

Becker County Environmental Services Director Steve Skoog said Monday afternoon that the county was collecting recycling once a week and then upped that to twice a week, and now there is a need for even more.

The county is looking at building a materials recovery facility — or a MRF as it’s referred to — where all recycling could be brought, separated and prepared for marketing to manufacturers. Skoog questioned if the city would be willing to initiate a curbside pick-up program for those who live in town to take pressure off the collection sites.

“I think it would increase even more,” Public Works Director Brad Green said of recycling if there was mainstream curbside pick-up.

Mainstream means that the recycling would all be mixed together and homeowners would not need to sort it, but instead it would be sorted at the recycling facility.

“There are other cities in Minnesota who have done that and they are really, really happy,” Alderman Bruce Imholte said.

What usually happens is the city charges a recycling fee on the utilities bill and then someone — whether it is county, city or contracted out — collects the recycling. Imholte said people would be encouraged to recycle since they are being charged for the service anyway.

The garbage bills would possibly decrease also since garbage haulers wouldn’t have to worry about collecting recycling anymore.

The city council was in full support of working with the county to support a recycling facility.

Mayor Matt Brenk asked Skoog to have the county come up with a plan and bring back numbers to the city outlining the costs and the city can go from there.

If the county board moves forward with the project, Skoog said he is looking at building the materials recovery facility in 2014 because it is a bonding year.