The Mitchell City Council is considering authorizing an application for a grant to help fund the construction of the recycling facility that’s estimated to cost $2.68 million. According to Public Works Director Joe Schroeder’s memo to the council, the existing recycling facility where crews sort through piles of recycled items before hauling loads over to Sioux Falls is in “poor condition.” Schroeder noted the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (DANR) Solid Waste Management grant, if awarded, would cover roughly 30% of the project costs. The city’s share of the project is estimated to cost $1.8 million.

The new facility would be built near the Mitchell Regional Landfill, located on the south edge of Mitchell. It’s been two years since the city revamped its recycling program, which entailed switching from a private contractor to the city taking on Mitchell’s recycling responsibilities. The change rolled out a new single-stream mixed recycling format, which allowed paper products, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs, metal cans and glass jars and bottles to all be placed together in a bin, provided they are empty and rinsed. City residents also got larger containers in which they could place recyclables.

Before rolling out the larger bins equipped with wheels, city residents had much smaller bins provided by Dependable Sanitation — the company the city utilized prior to the switch in 2020. As part of the switch, it required the city to utilize a facility for sorting recyclables. When the crews sort through the recycled items at the facility, loads are then hauled to Millennium Recycling in Sioux Falls — a company the city has a contract with to take the city’s recycled waste.

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Author: Sam Fosness, Mitchell Republic
Image: Marcus Traxler, Mitchell Republic