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 the service.”
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.