Organized trash collection to be discussed at Roseville City Hall

Joshua Nielsen
Review staff

The Roseville City Council will hold a discussion on organized trash hauling at its Monday, Nov. 18 council meeting.
Roseville does not currently have organized trash collection and its residents are free to choose from any of eight haulers licensed to do residential pick up in the city.

During the 2013 legislative session the Minnesota Legislature made changes to a law requiring cities to follow certain steps before approving organized collection. At the meeting the council will hear about the changes to the law and the steps it requires municipalities to take before approving organized trash collection.

Roseville communications specialist Carolyn Curti said those steps include allowing trash haulers a 60-day period to come up with their own plans for organized collection. If the city finds those plans unacceptable it may establish a committee to identify, examine, and evaluate various methods of organized trash collection.

“It’s really early in the process,” said Pat Trudgeon, Roseville’s interim city manager. “We are sharing information. We don’t know the facts about potential cost savings or other benefits yet and have no pre-judgments.”

Issue will be studied

Roseville’s public works director Duane Schwartz said various groups in the city have talked about organized trash hauling for over 10 years, and that it has been a contentious issue among residents.

Advocates for organized trash collection point to lower bills, greater efficiency, less impact on roadways, reduced pollution and noise as potential benefits to having a single hauler. Yet others feel it would be an intrusion upon their right to choose their own trash hauler.

“Why should the government get involved in private business?” longtime Roseville resident Dick Houck asks. “I pay taxes on my home and I don’t expect the government to tell me who I can do business with.”

Schwartz said there would need to be considerable research into the potential benefits of organized trash hauling before any decisions on whether or not to move forward are made by the council. The city would have to study how rates, traffic and impacts on roads from garbage trucks would be affected, among other factors.

The city of Maplewood began its residential organized trash service with Allied Waste in October of last year. Schwartz said Maplewood expects to save about $1.5 million per year, based on the bid the city approved. Whether or not Roseville residents could expect to see similar savings through an organized plan remains to be seen.

Trudgeon reiterated that the Nov. 18 meeting would include a general discussion on organized trash hauling, but no decision would be made regarding organized collection one way or another.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting at Roseville City Hall, 2660 Civic Center Drive. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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