Organized Hauling

What is Happening Now

UPDATED Sept. 27, 2023: 

At the Sept. 5 City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to begin an exploratory process to gather information about the benefits and challenges of organized hauling. 

IMPORTANT! The City Council did NOT vote to adopt an organized hauling system. They only voted to formally begin an exploratory process to research organized hauling.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26 the City Council met with representatives from each of the five licensed haulers currently operating in the city. This "meet and confer" session is part of the state's statutory process. It provided an opportunity for the haulers and city to begin an open dialogue about organized hauling versus open hauling. The meeting was a productive early step in the process. 

Council will consider the information that was discussed during the meet and confer session and then decide how to proceed. When a decision about next steps is made, that information will be provided on this webpage.


What is Organized Hauling or Organized Collection 

Coon Rapids currently operates an "open hauling" system, which means residents choose a hauling company from a list of approved providers. Coon Rapids currently has five licensed haulers that provide service to residents. "Organized hauling" (also called organized collection) is a waste collection system in which the City manages, contracts and coordinates residential curbside waste and/or recycling. 

One organized hauling option could be a consortium model, which would provide each hauler that currently operates in Coon Rapids a certain number of households to serve that is equal to their current market share. That means all five haulers that serve Coon Rapids residents now, would be included in formulating a consortium system. The City would assign each hauler to a different section of the city and determine which day collection would occur. 

Another organized hauling option is a single hauler model, in which only one company provides all service citywide.


Why Consider a Change?

Waste collection is an important service, which all residents are required to have by law. The City strives to maintain essential services at the highest level possible, while keeping costs affordable. The goal is to determine the most efficient way to deliver this service to residents that ensures affordable prices and quality service, while also minimizing negative impacts on roads, safety, public health and the environment (which also come at a cost to taxpayers). 

Additional information to consider:

Advantages of Organized Hauling

  • Gives the City more say over the types of services and options haulers must provide to residents (for example: bulky pickups, weekly recycling, organics pickup, bi-weekly trash, etc. which are not typically available in the open market).
  • Helps the City more effectively work with haulers to reduce illicit discharge, debris, missed service and other issues.
  • Reduces customer complaints, door-to-door sales and high pressure sales tactics (this also creates potential cost savings for haulers).
  • Reduces the amount of truck traffic, noise, fluid leaks and other wear-and-tear impacts to roads.
  • Creates unified procedures and rules for all residents, which simplifies education and communication.
  • Allows the City to competitively bid services and create contract language that details the terms that must be met to ensure low cost and quality service.

Advantages of Open Hauling

  • Citizen choice is upheld. 
  • Residents have multiple companies to choose from.
  • Allows for a direct relationship between customer and hauler.
  • Minimizes administrative costs to local government.
  • Provides an environment where small haulers are more apt to compete for a portion of the accounts.
  • Gives residents the opportunity to change haulers (often to gain promotional rates).


What Will Happen Next

The exploratory process will follow these steps:

Step 1

COMPLETE


City Council directed staff to proceed with the exploratory process on Sept. 5. The City provided formal notice to existing hauler. 

Step 2

COMPLETE


Council members, City staff and waste haulers are required to "meet and confer." This meeting is scheduled during a City Council work session on Sept. 26, 2023. This is a discussion between haulers and the City. Topics of discussion may include: road deterioration, public safety, pricing mechanisms and contractual considerations. 

Council will consider the information that was discussed during the meet and confer session and then decide how to proceed. When a decision about next steps is made, that information will be provided on this webpage.

Step 3

TBD



Following that meeting, if a resolution is not achieved, a state-mandated 60-day negotiation period may begin between existing haulers and City.*

*9/27/23: Council has not decided yet whether to proceed with negotiations. Council is considering the information that was discussed during the meet and confer session before deciding how to proceed. When a decision about next steps is made, that information will be provided on this webpage.

Step 4



If negotiations are not resolved between haulers and the City after 60 days, the City may choose to create a committee to research all waste hauling options. The committee would include council representatives, staff, waste haulers, community members and other stakeholders.

Want to participate in the committee? Complete an interest form.

Step 5


Committee meets regularly to discuss and research the benefits and challenges of organized hauling.

Step 6


Committee issues a final report, which includes recommendations for Council consideration. 

Step 7


Formal public hearing allows opportunity for the community to share input about the committee's report.

Step 8


City Council votes to accept or reject the committee's recommendations.

  • IF Council rejects organized hauling, the exploratory process concludes and the open hauling systems remains in place.

  • IF Council votes to begin organized hauling, the City must wait at least six months to fully implement the new system.

  • IF Council decides to put the issue to a referendum, an organized hauling question would be on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 9, 2024.

 

How to Provide Input

The City has created an online feedback form to provide residents with the opportunity to share input. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will my bill go up? I don't want to lose my current promotional rate.
A: In an organized hauling system, the City negotiates contract rates with haulers on behalf of all residents. Rates are predetermined and remain locked for the duration of the contract period. A study done by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found that the average monthly household rates are generally lower in organized hauling systems versus open hauling systems. At the end of each contract term, the City is able to go out for bid to achieve competitive rates.

Q: I am on a fixed income, what if I can't afford the rate?
A: Any organized hauling system will include reduced rate options for seniors and/or people on a fixed income that meet certain requirements.

Q: Will I lose my walk-up service? I have a special arrangement with my waste hauler due to my age or disability, etc.
A: Residents with special needs will not lose the option for walk-up service. If hauling were to become organized by the City, these are common requests that would be addressed in any new contract.

Q: What happens if I am a snowbird or take extended vacations?
A: Residents will still have the ability to make specific service arrangements with their hauler. In an organized hauling system, these are common requests that would be addressed in any new contract.

Q: Will service get worse? What if I have concerns about service?
A: Organized hauling is a contract between haulers and the City. Any organized hauling contract would include criteria for service that must be met by all haulers and would also include a process for dealing with or removing a hauler that fails to meet or maintain the criteria. In some organized hauling systems, all customer complaints are received and monitored by City staff to ensure that contracts are being upheld and quality service is maintained. An organized system may provide more leverage to a large group of customers acting as a unit versus a concern from a single household.

Q: Does organized hauling remove competition and free market in favor of a monopoly? How will the City will get the best cost and service?
A: An organized hauling system is not the same as a monopoly. Organized hauling is a contract between the City and one hauler - OR between the City and multiple haulers. There is a bidding and negotiation process before entering into a contract. During the bidding and negotiation process, the City can dictate cost and service expectations and requirements. There is a statutory process that guides the contract negotiations between the City and hauler(s).


Stay Informed

This webpage will continue to be updated throughout the exploratory process. 

Check back regularly for the latest information. More Frequently Asked Questions will be added and answered as staff continues to determine common topics of interest from residents related to organized hauling.