Recycling Discussion in Minot: Reduce, Reuse, React

Published: May. 15, 2018 at 5:19 PM CDT
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We looked further into how people in Minot are getting around recycling challenges, and if the City is trying to help.

Minot has never had a city-wide recycling program, but they do have people working to make the city a more sustainable community.

Tim Baumann founded the Facebook group "Environmentally Minded People of Minot" in late 2017, as a place for Minot residents to share ideas and opinions about reducing, reusing, and recycling.

"We all have a strong sense of stewardship and the idea that we want to preserve the environment for future generations," said Baumann.

Group members have gone to great lengths just to get rid of their recyclables.

"If they can't recycle it here in Minot, they'll wait until they go to Bismarck or until they go to Minneapolis. There are some really active and involved people in our community," said Baumann.

Still, Tim says Kalix is the main option the town has to recycle, which includes Minot State University.

"We're very still limited to recycle what Kalix takes in town, but it's better than nothing," said MSU biology professor Heidi Super.

Super heads the Minot State Sustainability Committee, and even she says being diligent about sustainability in the Magic City can be a tall task.

"We're hopeful the City of Minot embraces recycling and makes its easier. One of the first things you brought up was its just difficult. There isn't a recycling places where you can take a lot of things easily," said Super.

Minot City leaders say they have heard the benefits of a city-wide recycling program from its residents, but they must also account for the costs.

"We'd have to buy containers for everybody. That's about $500,000. We estimated a transfer facility that would cost probably in the neighborhood of about $2.5 million," said Minot Public Works Assistant Director Jason Sorenson.

But, some of what the city will need to spend in new equipment, they already saved in last year's rollout of automated trash pick-up.

"The first step was automated garbage collection, because whether it was the City of Minot that collected recyclables, or a private contractor, single sort recycling will be done with automated truck. We have the trucks, we have employees, so we'd be ready to pick up recyclables as soon as we had carts delivered," said Sorenson.

Working toward what could be the next major rollout for the Magic City.