News Flash

City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: July 26, 2023

Recycling off to a smooth start


The first collection days of Minot’s new curbside recycling program went well, according to City officials.

More than 37 tons of material were collected on July 17 and July 18, and compacted into two semi-trailers that haul the material to a sorting facility in Minnesota.

“I’m excited for our first composition study to see where it lands, based on what we’ve seen here during the first collections,” Utilities Director Jason Sorenson said. “The company in Minnesota will segregate our load and run the material through the facility without mixing it with any other loads. The first collection looked pretty good from a contaminant standpoint.”

Sorenson said the facility in Minnesota will sort Minot’s material and report how much cardboard, how much paper, etc., was in the loads. The sorting is done by hand and by robotic machines, he said.

“Overall, the first recycling collection looked good. The plastic wraps, like plastic from a case of water, for instance, are common but we don’t want those types of plastic in our collection,” Sanitation Superintendent Josh Kraft said. “We saw a few instances of people putting all their aluminum cans into a plastic bag and throwing the bag into the recycling container. We want the aluminum, but we don’t want the plastic bag. It’s going to be a learning process for all of us.”

Things are busy at the new recycling transfer facility that recently opened in southwest Minot. Recycling Coordinator Christina Wolf moved into her office this week, fencing is being installed at the facility, and the relocation of the second scale is under way. Some rooms in the new transfer facility aren’t furnished yet, but the recycling portion of the building is certainly already being put to use.

Trucks back into the building and deposit the collected recyclables onto the floor. The material is then pushed onto a conveyor by workers using a modified front-end loader. The recyclables move along a conveyor belt into the compactor, where they are crushed and loaded into the trailer for transport to Minnesota.

The building was constructed with several safety measures, including a specialized fire monitoring and suppression system as well as carbon monoxide detectors.

“When you have any waste stream, there’s always a risk of having something in there that could get hot,” Kraft said. “Often you’ll see a lithium battery that’s been mistakenly thrown in. If one of those gets compacted, it could short out and start a fire. But we have all kinds of sensors in this building, and the sprinkler system is wired directly to the Fire Department to alert them if there’s any hint of something catching fire. It’s important to check your items before putting them in the recycling container to ensure nothing like batteries or other potential hazards are included.”

The carbon monoxide detectors make it possible to operate equipment safely in the building with the doors closed, he said. 

“The sensors will turn on the air exchanger automatically so there’s no danger of anyone becoming sick, etc. This a very sophisticated system we have here,” Kraft added.

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