City approves waste contract with XcelThe city of Red Wing will start bringing garbage to the Xcel Energy steam plant this summer.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
The city of Red Wing will start bringing garbage to the Xcel Energy steam plant this summer.
The City Council unanimously approved a contract to send between 6,000 and 20,000 tons of the city’s garbage per year to Xcel’s burning facility.
The contract does not finalize any decisions on the future of the city’s incinerator, Public Works Director Rick Moskwa said. Working with Xcel will be necessary whether the city decides to mothball its facility or keep it open, he said.
The city would need somewhere to bring waste if it closes the incinerator, so the contract offers a plan for that situation.
If a state rule requiring waste from the metro area to be taken to nearby waste-to-energy facilities such as the one here is enforced, the ensuing increase in waste would make the city’s operation more economically viable. But it also would mean the Xcel contract would be needed to handle the extra garbage.
“This is a step now in that whole process of … getting answers on what we’re going to do on our waste campus,” Council member Mike Schultz said.
Garbage brought to the Xcel plant off Highway 61/63 needs to be shredded, so the city would have to get a machine to do that. Moskwa said the department likely would rent a shredder for the first year while exploring options — such as grant money — for purchasing one.
The contract has an initial term of July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. Then, unless either party decides to end the agreement after the first year, it would continue from July 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2017.
The city would pay $12 a ton for the first year and $21 per ton after that in plant maintenance fees, while Xcel would pay the city $2 per ton for the fuel.
The lower amount the city owes in the first year will help offset shredder costs, Moskwa said.
“In my mind this gives us a lot of options going forward,” Council President Ralph Rauterkus said of the contract. Council member Lisa Bayley noted the city has a number of options for getting out of the contract if needed.