Recycling site to stay at Nisswa Fire Hall for the next year
City is poised to require haulers to offer curbside recycling
NISSWA — A recycling drop-off site will stay behind the Nisswa Fire Hall for the next year while the city likely gets a curbside recycling program going.
Then, in April 2024, the council will determine whether the recycling drop-off site will be moved or eliminated.
Those decisions came at the Nisswa City Council’s regular meeting March 21, with about 25 people in the audience.
The council will have a public hearing at its regular meeting April 18 regarding an ordinance to require refuse haulers to offer curbside recycling, with the goal of adopting the ordinance at that meeting.
The curbside recycling ordinance would require all haulers operating in the city to offer curbside recycling at no additional cost with their garbage collection service.
An associated hauler’s license application fee of $75 would be added to the city’s fee schedule.
Once passed, a one-year waiting period would start to allow haulers time to establish their program and obtain equipment.
The recommendations came from the city’s public works committee, which also recommended the council relocate the recycling drop-off site from the fire hall to the gravel pit site near the city wastewater treatment plant.
That last recommendation came after months of research into where else the recycling site could be located. The city owns no other land and found it’s too expensive to buy land for such a use.
The city received six letters from people regarding moving the recycling site. Twelve people addressed the council March 21, including two refuse haulers who serve the city — Tyler Gardner, owner of Pequot/Gull Lake Sanitation in Jenkins, and Eric Loge, owner of Waste Partners in Pine River.
Crow Wing County contracts with Waste Partners to service all recycling in the county, including Nisswa’s drop-off site. The city and county each pay $35,000 per year to operate the site.
That partnership came after the county reduced the number of recycling sites in the county to just a few. Nisswa wanted to continue offering the service.
Over the past year, the city has wrestled with what to do with its drop-off site because it’s too small and poses safety issues when firefighters are responding to fire calls with the site so close.
An idea formed to relocate the site to the city gravel pit area. That’s when residents voiced concerns over safety issues from increased traffic in the residential areas of Hazelwood Drive and Lower Roy Lake Road.
The site is also a possible location for a police department shooting range and impound lot, though nothing has been finalized or approved.
Council member Mark Froehle was the first to suggest the city move the recycling site or get rid of it after first seeing how a curbside recycling program goes.
“Do we still need it? And if so, what size,” Froehle said of a drop-off site.
Public Works Director Tom Blomer said: “The site right now is way over capacity. It’s busting out of the seams as is. Curbside recycling won’t totally fix that.”
Blomer said half of recycling at the drop-off site comes from Nisswa residents. The rest is from seasonal residents, tourists passing through and out of area residents.
“Curbside recycling will only affect Nisswa residents,” Blomer said, and recycling at a drop-off site would only be reduced by an estimated 25%.
Council member Joe Hall attended the meeting online via Zoom from Marco Island, Florida.
Find recordings of Nisswa City Council meetings on the city's YouTube channel.
Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.