City takes step toward automated recycling

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

With the purchase of a near $212,000 truck, the city of Spencer is moving forward with its automated recycling -- and solid waste -- collection plan.

"We don't have experience with this type of equipment, so we sent out requests for proposals," Spencer Public Works Director Mark White told members of the Spencer Public Works Committee Monday evening.

McNeilus, of Dodge Center, Minn., proposed a $211,841 truck, while Mid-Iowa Solid Waste Equipment Company, of Johnston, suggested a $218,684 truck and Grimes-based Elliot Equipment offered a $224,225 truck as the solution.

While White noted each proposal was below the $240,000 budget for the equipment, he suggested the lowest bid, based on the performance of each vehicle.

"We let some of the lead people run the machines and give input," White said. "We've had a good experience with rear-load trucks from McNeilus. We couldn't see a reason not to recommend the low bid."

That bid includes a 2012 Peterbilt chasis, compared to 2013 chasis in the other two proposals, though the warranties are the same. White said the upgrade would cost about $5,000, still making it the most affordable option, but would also take longer to receive. Because the city intends to move to automated recycling in April, White would like to receive the truck and begin testing it on a regular basis.

The automated recycling collection program will begin with one truck and a tipper that can be used on a rear-load truck if the truck with the automated system is out of commission.

A second truck will likely be needed in the future.

"Eventually, the goal is to make the switch to every-other-week recycling and solid waste," White said. "I don't know if we can have one truck doing it all."

He added that the next phase of the plan is to rework routes to maximize efficiency.

The $510,000 program will be funded by a $300,000 landfill transfer, $140,000 that was earmarked for a rear-load truck, a $50,000 Environmental Management System grant and a $20,000 Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternative Program forgivable loan, which the full Spencer City Council later approved.

The council also approved a recycling agreement with Van's Sanitation, of Le Mars, which will begin Nov. 1. Van's will provide a semi trailer at the Spencer Transfer Station, transport that trailer from the station to their facility and compensate the city $5 per ton to load the trailer.

In other business, the full council:

- Approved a $171,000 River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism grant agreement for the Little Sioux riverfront and trails project. The project includes a pedestrian boardwalk; a 140-foot, 10-foot wide bridge connecting the city's trail network; and about 1.3 miles of paving for a 10-foot-wide recreational trail.

- Approved the contract and performance bond for the Fairview Park Addition sewer replacement project with Vaughn DeLoss Construction.

- Approved the granting of a permanent easement and temporary construction easement between the city and Jeff Husby Enterprises, regarding the west beltway storm sewer outfall pipe.

- Approved a preliminary plat of Deerfield Park Fourth Addition, which consists of 24 lots. It was noted that individuals who build homes in the new addition will be required to install sidewalks, per city code.

- Received an update on city goals.

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