Citizens Saved From Recycling
There are people in Manhattan that would like to Recycle, but of course
they want you to pay for it.
The Manhattan City Commission turned down a "Request for Service Proposals
for a Single-Family Residential Curbside Recycling Program."
The Recycling Task Force wanted to start a program in Manhattan that
would have everyone recycling cans, glass, plastic and paper. Of the four
only cans have a market. The glass, plastic and paper would be collected
but could not be taken to the landfill.
Three of the Commissioners (you guess which three) wanted to know what
would happen to the collected waste that could not be sold. The Task Force
did not have an answer.
Riley County gave up a recycling program eight-years ago because the
small area that was recycling needed County money to pay for the items
that would not sell. The County was paying out $20,000 a year and that
was a small area.
The citizens have been saved from another Big Brother Business by Commissioners
Ed Klimek, Brad Everett and Mark Taussig.
In February of 2001, the City received a request from the Riley County
Solid Waste Management Committee to form a task force to further research
and recommend a plan for implementing a residential curbside recycling
program in the City. The request from the Solid Waste Management
Committee was based on a survey conducted by the Committee. The survey
indicated that approximately 60 percent of the respondents would be interested
in participating in and paying for a curbside-recycling program.
In August of 2001, the Mayor appointed the Recycling Task Force, which
included City Administration, solid waste experts, representatives of Kansas
State University, a local trash hauler, and representatives of the Solid
Waste Management Committee. The Task Force met throughout the rest
of 2001 and January and February of 2002. The efforts of the Task
Force culminated in a presentation to the City Commission at a Work Session
on February 26, 2002. The report authored by the Task Force is enclosed.
The Task Force recommendation to the City Commission was to create
a mandatory pay/voluntary participation residential curbside-recycling
program that would include the collection of specific materials either
weekly or bi-weekly. The Task Force further provided funding options
to the City Commission for their action. As part of the presentation,
the Task Force recommended the creation of a request for services for a
residential curbside recycling program.
Following direction provided by the City Commission at the Work Session,
City Administration and the Recycling Task Force drafted the enclosed Request
for Service Proposals. The following is a synopsis of the Proposal:
* An Opt-Out provision, similar to Overland Park, KS, is provided for
in this proposal. It is estimated that 20 to 25 percent may utilize
the opt-out feature.
* Submitted proposals must include a cost per household per month figure
and the minimum number of households required to provide the service.
The funding and billing methods are yet to be determined by the City
Commission. As was presented in February, the Task Force believes
that numerous funding and billing options are available. The following
is excerpted from the Task Force Report:
“The Task Force identified several options for implementing/financing
a curbside recycling program. Those options include:
1. City fee on utility bill.
2. Private sector collection of recyclables.
3. Ad valorem tax or fee on property tax bill as source of funding
4. County solid waste tipping fee as a source of funding.
5. Franchise fees charged to refuse haulers.
6. Mandatory fee added to trash hauling bills.
7. City take program over and operate as a municipal service.
Options 2, 4, 5, and 7 were eliminated because they either were not
an efficient mechanism, were inequitable or created undo hardships for
refuse haulers. Options 1, 3, and 6 are all options that should be
considered as potential funding mechanisms for curbside recycling.
City fee on the utility bill. The city would be responsible for
collecting fees through the utility billing system. The city would
either contract for the service or could decide to provide the service.
This would require some alterations to the utility billing system and would
result in some administrative costs.
Ad Valorem tax or fee on property tax bill. The city would receive
the funds from the tax payments and either contract for or provide the
service. It may result in some small administrative costs for the city.
Mandatory fee added to trash hauling bills. The city would require
that all refuse haulers be required to assess the recycling fee as a condition
for operating in the city. The city would receive the funds forwarded
from the private refuse haulers and would either contract for or provide
It is important to note that prior to implementing a recycling program,
policy actions would be required of the City Commission. First and
foremost, the City Commission would need to consider the recommendation
of the selection committee and decide whether or not to accept a service
proposal and move forward with negotiation of a service contract.
Other policy actions would include determining how to fund the recycling
service. As previously noted, the Task Force report set forth several
funding options. The first is a City fee on the utility bill.
In order to implement such a fee, the Commission would need to pass an
ordinance establishing who is responsible for paying such a fee and under
what circumstances the fee must be paid. The second option mentioned
is an ad valorem tax or fee on a property tax bill. Regarding this
option, the City Commission could certainly make a policy decision to increase
the general mill levy of the City in order to fund this program.
However, City Administration is not certain that a special levy can be
established for this service and such levy be broken out separately on
a tax bill. The third option mentioned is a mandatory fee added to
trash hauling bills. City Administration is not aware of a legal
mechanism for this funding option.
As recently indicated to the City Commission, while researching privatization,
City Administration located a state statute dealing with the privatization
of public services. The statute dealing with this issue specifically
defines recycling as a public service. As such, it will be necessary
to follow a specific process in order to “privatize” this activity.
The statute requires a request for proposal and advertising the request
for proposal, as is our typical process. However, it should be noted
that acceptance of a proposal and negotiation of a contract must include
a public hearing, a feasibility analysis of “public vs. private” provision
of the service, and is subject to referendum.
Should the City Commission recommend moving forward with advertising
the Request for Service Proposals, it will be necessary to appoint a committee
to review the proposals and make a subsequent recommendation to the City
Commission. Make-up of the committee could include one City Commissioner,
two members of the Recycling Task Force, and four representatives of City
Administration. It is important to note that any service proposals
would need to be brought back to the Commission for action.
The proposed timeline for the review of proposals and recommendation
to the City Commission is the following: Proposals due by Friday,
December 20, 2002; Interviews by the selection committee in early January
2003; and recommendation to the City Commission in mid to late February.