Oct. 8—NORTH MANKATO — Junk drop-off or curbside pickup events have gone on for decades in North Mankato and they remain highly used.
The four-day fall drop-off event at the city public works building continues from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon Sunday.
Public Works Director Nate Host said the amount of old bikes, TVs, appliances, garbage, mattresses and all manner of no-longer-needed stuff remains fairly level over the years.
"At each event we average about 20 tons of metal, 200 appliances and 130 to 150 tons of garbage."
The city pays GreenTech Recycling in Mankato to take electronics and appliances. Once any Freon and certain other components are removed, GreenTech sends them on to be recycled.
The city spends about $40,000 for each event.
Host said they saw just over 400 vehicles come through Thursday, the first day of the event. That's just a bit lower than this year's spring drop-off where about 500 vehicles came through the first day.
Host said they get a rush of people when they first open, over the noon hour and then again after people get off work.
On Saturday, a paper-shredding truck will be on site beginning at 8 a.m. "They can carry 4,000 pounds of paper so they stay until the truck's full," Host said. Every time, they've fill their truck in four or five hours."
The shredding event is coordinated by Nicollet County Environmental Services.
The city has traditionally had spring events where people place their junk on their boulevard and city crews come around and pick it up. That was replaced by a drop-off event in spring of 2020 and this spring because of COVID precautions.
City Administrator John Harrenstein said the City Council recently pledged to return to the boulevard pick-up system again next spring.
"The spring pick-up remains one of the most popular services for residents." There used to be pick-up events in spring and fall but the council moved to fall drop-off several years ago to trim costs for the program.
Harrenstein said the boulevard events do consume a lot of staff time. "It consumes about two weeks of time for the whole public works crew for the pick-up. We're happy to provide it, but residents do pay for the cost of that."
The costs of disposal and recycling of everything collected is paid with fees the city collects for solid waste.