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Why can't I choose my own garbage hauler?

Updated: 01/19/2018

Lately, we have received many questions about garbage and recycling in the City of Shakopee. One of the most frequent: Why is Republic Services the only option for residential trash pick-up in Shakopee?

Shakopee has a long history of contracting with waste haulers to provide trash collection to city residents. Dating back to at least 1968, the city contracted with haulers to provide service at a set rate. In 1991, the city began transitioning to “organized collection," which allows the city to designate a hauler to collect trash. 

Based on city records from 1991, the driving factor in the decision to adopt organized collection was the passing of MN Statute 115A.941, which requires cities with a population greater than 5,000 to ensure every residence and business has solid waste collection services. The city determined designating a single hauler reduced costs for both the hauler and city.

Shakopee is not the only community with organized collection. The cities of Bloomington, Maplewood and Jordan also designate haulers. Additional benefits of organized collection include ensuring trash doesn't pile up in the streets or on the side of houses, reducing wear on city streets from heavy trucks and reducing the noise caused by multiple haulers traveling through neighborhoods at different times. 

In 2014, Republic Services was awarded a five-year contract to collect trash in Shakopee through May 2019. Republic Services was selected through a competitive bidding process. This fall, the City Council will decide whether to open a new request for proposals or continue with Republic Services for another two years. We encourage homeowners to share their thoughts with council leading up to the decision.

There is no guaranteed, accurate method to measure whether an organized collection system is more cost-effective than an open system. However, in looking back at our records, we found that in 1991 – when the city last had an open collection system – it cost $12.76 a month for collection of a 65-gallon cart and a small recycling bin. As of Jan. 1, 2018, collection rates for a 65-gallon cart plus recycling bin are $14.99 a month. That's a difference of $2.23 per month (or 17.5 percent) over 27 years.

 Learn more about organized collection on the Minnesota Cities' blog, The Cities Spot.