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City Council sets date for recycling implementation

The Recycling Center of North Dakota, formerly known as Renaissance Recycling, has until Nov. 21 to confirm it has received financing or opt to operate residential recycling in Jamestown without a sorting center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Recycling Center of North Dakota has until Nov. 21 to confirm to the Jamestown City Council it has arranged financing to implement the residential recycling program or that it can proceed without a loan.

If it fails to meet that deadline, the City Council could terminate the contract during a special meeting at the time, according to Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen.

Andersen told the City Council Monday that the new benchmarks negotiated between the city and the Recycling Center include a termination clause that would allow the city of Jamestown to end the contract and take steps to seek a new vendor at that time.

Ralph Friebel, owner of the Recycling Center, said he is anticipating confirmation of the financing by Nov. 15.

Friebel said if he proceeds without a loan, the project would not include a sorting facility in Jamestown.

“We would lightly bale (the recyclable materials) and ship it to Minneapolis,” he said. “It is the way most recycling in North Dakota works.”

If Friebel does receive bank financing, he would have until Dec. 21 to receive Small Business Administration and South Central Dakota Regional Council approval on loan guarantees and financing. If those approvals are not received, the contract could be terminated at that point.

I’m not sure if it’s a good option, but we’ll have that worked out by Nov. 21.

RALPH FRIEBEL, owner, Recycling Center of North Dakota, on the possibility of not operating a sort facility in Jamestown

The Recycling Center has until Feb. 1 to implement residential pickup if it chooses to proceed without sorting the materials in Jamestown or until March 1 to proceed if it receives financing and developes a sorting center in Jamestown.

Councilman Pam Phillips said of the contract amendment setting the deadlines that she “didn’t like it but was resigned to it.”

Phillips said the $5,000 per-month subsidy paid currently to the Recycling Center would end at the end of the year. The Recycling Center would not begin to receive payments under the new residential recycling collection program until it began to perform services.

Friebel said he was still researching the feasibility of not operating a sorting facility in Jamestown.

“I’m not sure if it’s a good option,” he said, “but we’ll have that worked out by Nov. 21.”

The city of Jamestown awarded the bid for the residential recycling contract in April as part of a project to upgrade its sanitation department with trucks equipped with automated pickup systems. Those trucks will arrive in Jamestown next week, said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator, but cannot be utilized until the recycling operation is implemented.

The city had intended to cut six positions once the automated garbage pickup system and residential recycling pickup was implemented. Three people have already left their positions, leaving the department shorthanded as it goes into the winter.

The recycling program was originally slated to begin July 1 but was delayed. Friebel had estimated in September the program could begin Nov. 1 but that date also passed.

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