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Lyon Co. to seek new recycling proposals

MARSHALL — Lyon County’s contract for curbside recycling pickup ends later this spring, and the county will be seeking proposals for a new contract.

A request for proposals approved by the Lyon County Board on Tuesday keeps the proposed pickup schedule at every other week, the same as it is currently.

“We want as little disruption as possible” of collection services, said Lyon County Environmental Administrator Roger Schroeder.

The plan was for the county to have proposals in time for the board’s first meeting in February, Schroeder said.

Recycling pickup became a thorny topic for Lyon County residents in 2019, when higher-than-expected bids for curbside pickup led county commissioners to consider alternatives, like buying roll-off containers for county recycling drop sites. At the time, area waste haulers said market changes for selling recycled materials and other factors made single-sort recycling more costly for them.

A large crowd of Lyon County residents spoke out in favor of keeping curbside recycling pickup at a September 2019 hearing. County commissioners later approved a new recycling pick-up contract with Southwest Sanitation, with recycling being collected every other week instead of weekly. That contract ran from November 2019 until April 2021.

Schroeder said Tuesday that recycling markets have mostly stayed the same since then, although some prices for recyclable materials have increased slightly.

“Cardboard is doing well. Plastics are still not doing so well,” he said.

The RFP brought before the county board on Tuesday kept recycling pickup on a biweekly schedule, and kept pickup days the same for Lyon County residents. The contract would start the week of April 4. Schroeder said the RFP included an optional additional proposal — that the recycling hauler would make a tipping floor available for recyclables collected in the county. That would mean that the county would be able to take recyclables collected in county roll-off containers to a physical drop-off location run by the contractor. Schroeder said he thought two of the three local solid waste haulers would be able to offer a tipping floor.

Commissioners voted 3-0 in favor of advertising for bids for a recycling hauler. Commissioners Steve Ritter and Gary Crowley abstained from voting to avoid conflicts of interest.

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