Recycling discussion in Minot: The sustainable future

MINOT, N.D.- Many Minot residents have shown support for a city-wide recycling program.

When that will actually happen is a question people are still asking.

Over the last two nights, we looked into the past and present of recycling in Minot. Tonight we look to the future to see if and when Minot can expect a city-wide recycling program.

"There's a lot of people who are asking for it, so we want to keep working for it and deliver it for them if it's something that they really want," said Jason Sorenson, Minot Public Works assistant director.

The decision is up to the City of Minot, but it's up to the residents to get their message to City Hall.

"Recycling is the low-hanging fruit. It's the easiest thing, it's great to have, it's important to have," said Tim Baumann, Environmentally Minded People of Minot founder .

"We support this change, and I think this would be good for the city of Minot," said Kalix President & CFO Borgi Beeler.

City-wide recycling could become a reality quicker than you'd expect.

"2020 is probably the soonest I would foresee recycling getting started," Sorenson said.

But the City needs residents to help them get there.

"It's going to be really important for the whole community of Minot to pay attention to what can I put in my recycle bin and what condition do they have to be in," Beeler said.

Plastic bags present a major challenge for recycling programs.

"Those plastic bags will then get shipped to Minnesota where the sorting facility is, and plastic bags wreak all sorts of havoc on those facilities," Sorenson said.

Advocates for recycling say that, for the program to succeed in the Magic City, it will take a village.

"We can take big steps as individuals, but the cumulative effect and the positive effect for our environment and our future is not as big as when we take one small step together," Bauman said.

A week before we aired this story, the City of Minot hired a consultant to help analyze costs, collection methods, and ways to make the most of what we collect. The question now is do we have enough space in the city budget to get the program started?

It's important for residents to get involved in local government, attend public meetings, such as city council the first Monday of the month, or the committee of the whole meetings to voice opinions.

As it stands, there really aren't any options for recycling tires in Minot, even though old tires can be repurposed for other things. That might be one thing for community leaders to consider in their recycling plan.