The City of Langdon Sanitation Department has announced that effective July 1, 2019, the paper recycling program will be discontinued for the cities of Langdon and Munich. Tom Beauchamp, the sanitation supervisor for the City of Langdon, explained that this means there will no longer be paper pickup in the City of Langdon nor will there be drop-off sites in Langdon or Munich. The containers will be removed at the end of June.
By Melissa Anderson
“So beginning July 1, please do not haul your paper out to the drop-off sites in Langdon or Munich. All paper will now be thrown in with your regular trash,” Beauchamp said.
Langdon has been recycling paper since 1994 with support from the Langdon City Commissions. Beauchamp shared that in those early years of the program, the city would recycle 130 to 160 tons of paper annually. Now, the city recycles less than 50 tons making the program no longer financially feasible for the small communities that participate.
“The city, as a whole and through all the commissions, has been really good and pro recycling. You know if it’s ballpark where maybe it’s still costing a little less to landfill, we are still going to recycle it just because it’s the thing to do and as long as it doesn’t get to be a burden where we have to raise garbage rates to compensate. We know once you drop the program, it doesn’t come back,” Beauchamp stated.
In addition to the dramatic decrease in paper product to recycle, there has been a shift within the paper recycling market itself. Currently, Langdon utilizes the co-mingling method where the paper product is sent in bulk and unsorted to the facility. To continue the recycling program, major changes would need to be made adding substantial cost to the city.
“Because they [Grand Forks Waste Management] cannot accept that product in that form anymore, it would have to be sorted- office paper, newspaper, magazines, everything. That’s why it would require more manpower, more equipment, more building space to do all that,” Beauchamp explained. “If we can recycle we do. As anybody who knows who I am, I recycle. I stand for recycling. To be truthfully honest, it’s cheaper to landfill.”
The city has struggled with the economics of the paper recycling program for the past several months. Beauchamp has reviewed every possible option to continue the program in some form but was not successful in finding an alternative location to take the paper. With there no longer being a market for the method used by Langdon to prepare paper for recycling, the difficult decision to discontinue the program had to be made.
“Trust me, we looked. We’ve wanted to stay away from this day for a long time, but it’s been staring us in the eye, and the bottom line is they just won’t accept it anymore like that,” Beauchamp said.
The City of Langdon would like to thank everyone that recycled paper throughout the years. The City also emphasizes that the only program being affected is the paper program. All other recycling programs will continue and are unaffected by this decision. Please continue to recycle aluminum cans, cardboard, steel cans, glass etc.
For questions, please contact the Langdon Sanitation Department at 256-2115. Please leave a message, and Tom Beauchamp will return your call.