St. Louis Park changes its recycling service to Eureka

Kate Baldwin

Dropping Waste Management as their recycling service, the city of Saint Louis Park made the switch to a provider, Eureka Recycling, that met the city’s demands more efficiently on October 1.

Scott Merkley, a representative for the city, said that the city keeps five year contracts in regards to their recycling and waste needs. “At the end of the five years, we put together contract needs and search for bids.” With the most recent contract, the city wanted to make an effort to become more eco-friendly.

“One of the things we wanted to do was improve our environmental stewardship,” said Merkley. The city looked at whether or not the companies that placed a bid would actually collect and recycle the materials to be reused, or just collect and recycle the materials to be used as land fill covers.

Eureka Recycling stood out among all the other candidates for how they dealt with waste products. “We only take what we have found a market for and what we can recycle, and people like that,” said Megan Kuhl-Stennes, a representative for Eureka Recycling.

The switch of recycling companies has been a smooth and easy transition. Waste Management still collects the city’s garbage, but the two different companies have been working very well with each other.  “The hardest thing with the switch was taking the time to learn routes,” said Merkley, “so the city provided the new drivers with route maps to collect efficiently and eliminate missed areas.”

Only a few changes have resulted from the switch. “For the most part, residents have not been affected or are not very aware of the switch because the routes and collection days have remained the same in an effort to make as little change as possible,” said Merkley.

The only noticeable change to residents is that Eureka allows four new items that can be recycled that Waste Management did not allow. These items are cardboard pop and beer boxes, milk cartons, juice boxes, and linens.

“The biggest challenge for Eureka has been finding materials in recycling bins that aren’t recyclable,” said Merkley, “they are now working towards educating the citizens of Saint Louis Park on what items can and cannot be recycled.”