Nisswa city committee opts to look into expanding recycling site at current location

Residents speak in favor of keeping site at fire hall and not moving it out of downtown area

Nisswa recycling location behind fire hall April 27, 2022.jpg
Nisswa's recycling bins are shown Thursday, April 28, 2022 at the site behind the fire hall.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

NISSWA — After hearing from residents who want their recycling location to stay where it is, the Nisswa Public Works Committee agreed to study that option.

Nearly 30 people attended a public hearing Wednesday, April 27, regarding a proposal to move the city’s recycling site from behind the fire hall off Main Street to the existing demolition gravel pit near the new sewer plant off Lower Roy Lake Road at an estimated cost of $335,000.

After learning of a potential 1.2 acres of property available behind the current recycling site, and saying it would be less expensive to fix the current site rather than move it, the public works committee agreed to work with the park commission to possibly use that land for an expanded recycling site.

The committee also agreed it needs to hear from Fire Chief Shawn Bailey on how the current site affects fire hall operations. The committee briefly discussed the possibility of charging non-Nisswa residents to use the recycling location.


The city council has the ultimate vote on the matter.

I’m very much concerned about the traffic along that road.
Paula West, referring to Lower Roy Lake Road

Ten people spoke at the public hearing, most highlighting traffic concerns on Hazelwood Drive and Lower Roy Lake Road if the recycling facility moved. The current location is convenient and brings people downtown where they do business while recycling, they said.

“I’m very much concerned about the traffic along that road,” said Paula West, saying those two roads are feeder roads to the proposed recycling center and two of the busiest residential streets in Nisswa.

Nisswa Public Works Committee recycling center discussion
Paula West addresses the Nisswa Public Works Committee on April 27, 2022, at city hall regarding a proposal to move the city's recycling location.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

She asked the city to step back and consider other options, saying residents appreciate a user-friendly downtown location for recycling.

Recycling is popular here because of its location.
Roger Landers, Nisswa resident

Roger Landers said he does appreciate that the city stayed in the recycling business when Crow Wing County closed other recycling sites. But he thinks recycling would drop off if the site moved from downtown.

“Recycling is popular here because of its location,” he said.

Eric Loge, of Waste Partners in Pine River, which hauls the city’s recycling, said: “You are out of room and you are growing.”

The city sought another recycling location because the current site needs work, is too small and interferes with fire hall operations.


Read more Nisswa City Council news

Crow Wing County in the past couple of years reduced the number of recycling sites in the county from 12 to two - the landfill east of Brainerd and the Ideal Transfer Station - but Nisswa opted to keep its recycling site because the city has 45% of recycling activity in the county.

But the city may lose the county’s financial help - both the city and county are each paying $35,000 in 2022 for Nisswa’s recycling site - because the county is looking to spend $2 million to rework the recycling site at the landfill.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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