Organized Collection

Richfield is looking to organize curbside garbage, recycling, organics, yard waste, and bulky item collection services through an organized collection system, joining a growing number of cities and towns in Minnesota and a common nationwide practice.  This would mean that existing haulers each get a number of Richfield households to serve equal to their market share, and in the same area to then coordinate collection more easily. This program would reduce the number of garbage trucks traveling on roads in Richfield, reduce air, noise, and other forms of pollution, and save many households money.

Residents in Richfield currently choose a hauler to pick up their garbage and recycling (and additional optional services like yard waste collection). This open system favors those who are able to negotiate better prices and "shop around".  However, negotiated rates are still generally higher than those received in an organized system. The open collection system also increases the number of trucks operating daily in Richfield as a single block can have 4+ different haulers picking up trash and recycling and yard waste. 

Common concerns and feedback from residents about the current system include:

  • Frustration dealing with haulers and constantly shopping around when rates are raised
  • A large number of trucks traveling up and down neighborhood streets at higher speeds due to infrequent stops
  • Public dumping around town as a result of residents potentially not having waste collection services
  • Lack of bargaining power as one household, especially when it comes to surprise charges or rate increases

Why is the City pursuing this?
There are a variety of benefits to an organized system, with some  being specific to a consortium approach, which is what the city is required to pursue at this time. These benefits are broadly economic, environmental, and social. Here is a document with numerous benefits listed and explained more in-depth. 

waste comp

As an example, the chart to the right shows that there are significant portions of the waste stream that can be diverted correctly to more beneficial disposal methods like recycling,  composting, and reuse. An organized system will streamline education so residents have a better idea of where different materials should go. Reducing the amount of waste that's thrown away will result in savings for residents as well as environmental benefits from both collecting and incinerating/landfilling less waste.

Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a document that addresses several questions residents might have. Information and updates will be shared with the public as the process allows, and feedback and questions are always welcome.

Listening and Learning Session Information 
A postcard with the information below was mailed out to residents on 12/2. La traducción al español de la postal está aquí.

  • 12/18/2020 - 7-8 p.m.  Watch on the City's YouTube Channel.
  • 12/19/2020 - 4-5 p.m. Watch on the City's YouTube Channel.
               *Due to a recording error, only the feedback/Q&A portion of this session is available. The presentation is the same as the one recorded in the 12/18 and 12/22 sessions.*
  • 12/22/2020 - 2-3 p.m. Watch on the City's YouTube Channel
  • 5/20/2021 - 6:30 p.m. Watch in the City's YouTube Channel
The MPCA study mentioned during one of the sessions is available here.

Process Timeline (Timeline is subject to change)
  • 11/10/2020 - City Council work session held about Organized Collection (This video provides a good overview of the benefits to this process, timeline overview, and answers questions both councilmembers and residents have brought up.)11/12/2020 - The City published official public notice regarding its intent to  organize and enter negotiations with collectors. Collectors were also notified individually.
  • 11/23/2020 - Licensed collectors and city officials held a "meet and confer" meeting required by the state statute and talked about collection related issues and topics prior to official negotiations.  
  • 12/18, 12/19, and 12/22/2020 - 3 virtual Learning and Listening sessions were held. These gave residents and staff an opportunity to hear from each other, answer questions, and gather feedback about the process and what residents would like to see. Recordings are linked above.
  • 12/18/2020 - Official negotiations commenced. Negotiation meetings between city staff and collectors will occur over a period of at least 60 days. 
  • As of 4/27/21: Negotiations are still in progress, and a draft contract is under review.
  • 5/11/2021: Council Work Session #1. The recording is available here. The Powerpoint is available here.
  • 5/20/21: A City Council Listening Session was held.
  • 6/1/21: A Public Hearing was held.
  • 6/8/21: City Council voted 5-0 to approve the organized garbage collection contract at the regular council meeting.  
  • Next steps: City staff will continue working with the haulers to implement the program and keep residents updated throughout the process via social media, mailers, and more.

Questions or feedback? Contact Rachel Lindholm at or at (612) 861-9188.