With a mild, rainy weather pattern descending on the area, St. Michael and Albertville residents are likely starting to think about spring. However, the spring cleaning that might accompany a change in seasons will look different this year for area residents, as the two cities’ councils recently agreed to scrap the annual spring cleaning event.
The spring cleaning day, which the cities offered jointly for the past 20 years at the St. Michael Rec. Center, has been complicated by the recent closing of Great River Energy’s Elk River burn plant. In years past, haulers would take the clean-up day’s general garbage to the burn plant as trucks filled up, then return to the clean-up day to be refilled. The closest available burn plant is now located in St. Paul, which would require a three-hour round trip to drop off waste and thus a much higher cost.
Jim Smith, regional manager for Advanced Disposal, spent two months working on a cost-effective alternative, but city staff said a solution wasn’t found. They consulted local landfills and considered using roll-offs or adding more trucks, but costs, regulations, and existing schedules stymied their efforts.
What Can Residents Do Instead?
770 residents of St. Michael and Albertville participated in clean-up day last year, disposing of nearly 51 tons of unrecyclable garbage and recycling 205 appliances, 2,162 pounds of vehicle batteries, nearly 20 tons of scrap metal and much more.
Fortunately, there are several local options available for residents to utilize year-round. Randy’s Sanitation out of St. Michael takes all items accepted at the clean-up day, and city staff said the cost of popular items is comparable to clean-up day rates.
Another option is B&E Recycling in Elk River, which takes appliances, electronics, light bulbs and cardboard for a low cost or free. There are coupons available on their web site.
Lastly, Metro Appliance Recycling accepts appliances, electronics and computer recycling for a fee that’s generally in-line with clean-up day costs. They offer pick-up for an additional fee.
City staff said they’d monitor how things go without a clean-up day this spring and report any issues, concerns or complaints to council.