Recycling contract takes a ‘drastic’ turn

Mille Lacs County commissioners decided at their Nov. 6 meeting to seek more information before awarding a recycling contract for the county.

The county had sought proposals for recycling, sending requests to 17 licensed haulers or area recyclers.

Two contractors responded, Jim’s Mille Lacs Disposal and J. Vanderpoel, Inc., both of Milaca.

Jim’s Mille Lacs Disposal, employed by the county since 1998 for recycling, gave a quote of $4,900 per month in 2012, $4,998 in 2014, and $5,097 in 2015.

The Jim’s Disposal proposal noted that Jim’s also recycles many items not on the list submitted by the county, such as used oil, oil filters, tires, appliances, electronics and steel.

J. Vanderpoel gave a quote of $4,731 per month and said there would be no increase in the two following years, although he noted that if there was a drastic increase in fuel, a fuel surcharge would have to be implemented.

Vanderpoel’s proposal also would require a relocation of the Milaca facility to the county’s Public Works maintenance facility, with plans to find a fixed site later on.

Michele McPherson, director of the county’s Land Services Office, noted that the current cost of the program is $4,800 per month and that the cost had not increased for two years. The current contract expires on Dec. 31.

Commissioner Frank Courteau said he was uncomfortable with the word “drastic” in the Vanderpoel proposal. “What is drastic?” he asked.

County Administrator Roxy Traxler answered a commissioner’s question by saying that the difference in the two proposals would be about $9,000 over a three-year period.

Courteau reiterated that he wanted clarification of the word “drastic” in the Vanderpoel proposal and made a motion to table a decision, pending more information.

Commissioner Phil Peterson said he thought the track record of Jim’s Disposal had been excellent, and that he didn’t need more information.

Courteau’s motion passed by a 3-1 margin, Peterson voting against.