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Minnesota Council holds hearing on waste disposal, recycling.

The Fridley City Council held a public hearing to consider a text amendment to Chapter 113 of the city code entitled Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Collection.

The purpose of reviewing the city code is to update outdated language and definitions which are inconsistent with State Statutes, improve code enforcement capabilities, increase tonnage reporting accuracy and add two categories of licenses: yard waste and organic collection.

Currently, the City of Fridley does not have license yard waste, which is a service often offered through holders of residential and commercial solid waste licenses.

"The county is now tracking yard waste tonnage reporting and staff is requesting that a separate license for weekly yard waste haulers be instituted and no other changes to those practices are suggested," said Kay Qualley, Fridley Environmental Planner.

The legislature sets recycling goals, which Anoka County translates into annual goals for their cities to accomplish through programming and reporting of tonnage diverted. By 2030, the state requirement for Anoka County is for the collection of 75 percent of recyclable items presorted out of mixed municipal solid waste.

Right now, the state average is around 46 percent of recoverable items diverted from mixed municipal solid waste.

In order to achieve the state goal of 75 percent by 2030 for source-separated materials, Fridley plans to increase diversion rates to 60 percent of the tonnage coming from recycling programs and to obtain the remaining 15 percent from the collection of organics as pre-sorted out of mixed municipal solid waste.

"Organics account for over 35 percent of what households toss away." said Qualley.

Organics are a compostable commodity which can be used in the manufacture of compost, much like the items collected in the city recycling program, which are re-used in a manufacturing process.

The city is proposing a single, source-separated compostable license. At this time, the city does not have provision for an organics license, which would be handled like a recycling licensure.

Licenses will stipulate the Anoka County reporting format for tonnage collected starting Jan. 1 2017. Recommended text amendments to Chapter 113 include improvements for:

* Addressing code enforcement issues such as burning of garbage and recyclables or not allowing outdoor storage of bags of leaves in view of the public right of way.

* Liability insurance requirements need to be updated for licensees.

* Improving the reporting of tonnage diverted from mixed municipal solid waste by the various licensees to more closely match Anoka County's required format.

* Licensing categories need to expand based on changes in the industry and State waste goals. Currently, the City license structure is not set-up to permit yard waste removal services and reporting. Establishing a license category for the collection of yard waste will rectify that omission.

* Establishment of a limited organics collection license toward the development of a future pilot project and to obtain records of the diversion of compostable tonnage diverted from Mixed Municipal Solid Waste.

Staff oversight of new licensing categories will be supervisory in nature and conducted within their existing responsibilities so there will be no impact to the City's budget.

"The kind of fees associated with it generally just involve the amount of staff time that it takes to do the license which is fairly minimal," said Qualley.

The first reading of the amendment will take place during the Nov. 14 council meeting.

Source: Sam Lenhart, Sun Focus
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Publication:Solid Waste Report
Date:Nov 14, 2016
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