Josh Wolsky

When cities take over trash collection, they take heat — but it pays off, too

Do you appreciate the City of Minot’s standardized trash service? Or, do you think the city should stay out and let the private industry pick-up our weekly discharge? We’ve heard both sides of the argument in the recent past during discussions about landfill expansion. To see a different perspective, we only have to look to Minnesota.

Until recently, socialized (city operated/regulated) trash service in Minnesota cities wasn’t common; but a 2013 law change made it easier for municipalities to regulate or provide the service. As a result, many took up the work to self-organize or set higher collection standards. St. Paul is attempting to do just that, but they’re facing challenges to that plan from citizens; their transition will be put to a vote.

So, in the spirit of always improving, here are two stories out of Minnesota that speak to the ongoing conversations in Minot. Should we retain our socialized system? Are private market solutions always better? These questions don’t have objective right or wrong answers. Rather, the right answer is the answer we choose at the time we choose it; it can and will change in time. That said, we can check the direction we’re heading by watching trends of those around us — to see if others are adopting our methods or shying away from them.

In the case of trash collection, Minnesota is trending toward Minot methods. Here are the stories.

MPR: Organized trash pick up lowers costs

Star Tribune: St. Paul garbage pick up will go to vote

Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, There's a lot to Savor about Minot. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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