Curbside Cleanup Days

Curbside Clean Up Days Change

The city has made changes to our garbage and recycling services in response to the changing markets around the world. The recycling industry used to benefit from the sale of the recycled materials it collected. The material could be sold by the recyclers and the revenue would offset a sizeable portion of the cost to collect and process the recycled material.

Over the past two years, the amount that the end users of the recycled material are willing to pay has been reduced significantly. This in turn directly relates to a decrease in the revenues that are used to offset the cost to collect and process recycled materials. The net result is an increase of 80% in the fees paid to recycle by customers like the city and our residents.

To respond to the increased costs, the city looked at the current garbage and recycling operations for ways to reduce expenses in all areas. Much of the city’s solid waste budget goes toward the day-to-day garbage and recycling operations. The area with some discretion is the approach to pick-up of bulk items. The city has utilized an annual Clean Up Day where residents can dispose of bulk items one day each year. The option of calling for pickup of these items for a fee has also been available to residents year round. [While residents have always been able to call for pick-up of bulk items at any time, many have utilized Clean Up Days.]

Clean Up Days has operated every spring since 2001 where residents have been able to place select bulk items on the curb for pick-up from a contracted hauler. While the city does not bill for Clean Up Days separately, there is a cost to this service that has been incorporated into your quarterly bill. Clean Up Days has been annually budgeted at $180,000 to cover the cost of collection and disposal of the items picked up.  Curbside Cleanup Piles

Due to continued regulatory changes, many items formerly collected during Clean Up Days now must be recycled as opposed to landfilled. This type of processing costs more and has led to more and more items not being collected as a part of this event including electronics, scrap metal, tires, mattresses and carpet. The city anticipates that this list of items would continue to grow in the future.

Clean Up Days have also produced some unfavorable results. Safety concerns have been expressed with scavengers roaming the community leading up to the event, illegal dumping occurs as a result of certain items not being collected, non-residents are using the service that Farmington residents pay for and more.

The cost of Clean Up Days equates to about $21 per household each year whether residents use the service or not. The fee for bulk item pick-up ranges between $5 and $100 with the city’s contract recycler DSI. There is also an option of dropping off items directly at DSI for a reduced rate.  

Outside of bulk item pick up or drop off, all Dakota County residents can use the Recycling Zone in Eagan where items can be dropped year round, most free of charge. Find a list of all accepted items here

With all of this in mind, the city has made the decision to only offer the pay for service approach and discontinue the annual Clean Up Days starting in 2020. Now residents will only pay for this service if they actually need to dispose of items. While this is a change, the city feels this is necessary to balance the rising costs within the garbage and recycling industry against the growing impacts that Clean Up Days has produced.


Solid Waste Expenditures
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