Waste Management submits offer to take over county recyclingGoodhue County residents could soon have a new recycling provider, if county officials agree to a recent proposal.
Goodhue County residents could soon have a new recycling provider, if county officials agree to a recent proposal.
National waste collection company Waste Management has submitted an offer to take over the county's recycling service, in a move hailed by the company as a win-win for both parties.
"We think we can provide them with a more efficient and cost-effective means of handling recycling," company spokeswoman Julie Ketchum said.
Waste Management, which has long sought recycling collection services in the area, finally got a chance to make an offer in June, when county commissioners voted to seek a third party to manage recycling as a cost-saving measure. It was the only company to submit a bid by the Aug. 27 deadline.
County officials would not comment on the details of Waste Management's proposal, saying they had not had time to review its terms. Meetings were planned this week to determine whether it meets all county bid requirements.
Those requirements call upon a potential bidder to offer recycling services with minimal changes to current service.
"We're going to meet internally with staff and define our questions," County Administrator Scott Arneson said.
Under the proposal, waste management would manage recycling services, but would not purchase the county's recycling center and landfill. A county request for bids to purchase the facilities -- both located in Red Wing -- garnered no response by the August deadline.
The current offer isn't the first time Waste Management has been in talks with the county over the recycling service.
Company officials presented a preliminary study in January that they claimed showed a private company could operate recycling services more efficiently. The county's small annual recycling haul put it at a disadvantage compared with larger haulers, according to Waste Management.
The company's study concluded that the county could save more than $250,000 annually by switching to a third party.
County officials have yet to determine how much, if any, money would be saved through the current proposal, according to Arneson.