MENOMINEE — During Tuesday’s Public Safety/Public Works Committee meeting, the committee discussed the city’s current contract with Waste Management, which will be up at the end of February 2020. As a part of this discussion, the committee discussed the issue regarding the recycling bins at City Hall.

“The bins out there aren’t working,” said committee chairman Doug Robinson, “All you have to do is drive by City Hall at pretty much any time to see that. I’ve been in contact with quite a few people in the city, and it’s highly recommended that we get new prices on recycling bins and find out what the cost would be in negotiating the new contract.”

“I’d like to see a couple different options,” said councilmember Dennis Klitzke, “What would it cost to stick with the current service? Another option would be curb-side recycling and trash pick-up.”

Klitzke said that he recognized there was some concern about some citizens being unable to take their recycling bins out to the street. City manager Tony Graff said that Waste Management would service up to 50 people who applied to be considered unable to move the bins to the road on their own.

“There are communities where they’ve made that kind of offer, and usually within a year that number drops in half,” he said.

Graff said part of the current pile-up of recycling behind City Hall had to do with the current vendor, Resolute Forest Products, being unable to take paper recently. “They were overloaded. So we brought in a second one, and it’s been almost four weeks since we couldn’t get the paper done, so a lot of the mess came from that. Waste Management picks up glass and plastic on Monday and Friday, but we either have to get a second recycling bin for glass and plastic so over the weekend we have extra space.”

He said the issue with paper pile-up should get better with the second bin, however the vendors can only take so much. “I’m hoping we can get back to a regular schedule so we can take it there twice a week so we can go back down to one bin,” he said.

Klitzke also suggested placing a bin over at the city garage in their fenced-in area. “If some people didn’t want to push their recycling bin out or didn’t want the bin, they could bring it there,” he said.

“Maybe; put an address on the bin and people could bring their own recycling to that one, Waste Management could then stop by and pick it up from there. I haven’t heard that one before, could be interesting,” Graff said.

Robinson said, “The last time we went through this, they offered two sizes of bins, and I think that should be on the table again. Lots of people want smaller bins if they don’t have that many recyclables.”

Graff said Waste Management brought over a 96-gallon bin that some communities are opting to use for curb-side pickup. “The ones using the 96 gallons are going to every other week for recycling pickup, because it’s a larger bin,” he said.

“And that would be a good option to look at too,” Klitzke said.

Graff said that, in regards to the contract with Waste Management, he needs answered. “If we’re going to go with a single source, we’ll need some options from them. Stay where we’re at, look at curb-side recycling, look at bids; and then look at other alternatives with bulk pickup,” he said.

He said that at the very latest they’d have to come to an agreement with Waste Management on their options by August, otherwise the city will likely have to put out a request for proposal.