Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Minnesotans Clash Over Organized Trash Collection

Instead of letting trash collection companies compete to serve customers, several Minnesota cities are negotiating contracts on behalf of their citizens. The measure, which reduces garbage truck traffic, has prompted backlash.
February 7, 2016, 11am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
ACE Solid Waste

A debate is raging in several Minnesota cities over organized trash collection. For the StarTribune, John Reinan writes, "Battles over organized trash collection, meaning that a city arranges for pickup by one designated hauler, have been fought in more than a dozen metro communities in recent years. Some, like Fridley and Rose­ville, backed down in the face of opposition. Others, like Bloomington and St. Anthony, went ahead. But no matter the outcome, it's rarely been a smooth process."

The rationale for organizing trash pickups is environmental as well as aesthetic. "Cities that have adopted organized collection say it's more sustainable. Fewer big trucks on the street means less fuel used, fewer emissions released and less wear and tear on roads. Noise and congestion are reduced, and streets are safer."

But opponents claim the practice limits their ability to hunt for deals among the competing collection companies. Some phrase their protests in the language of individual liberties, referencing a culture of public lawmaking gone overboard.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, January 31, 2016 in StarTribune
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email