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Letter from Waste Management: Sorting out recycling costs in West Fargo

Waste Management non-sort bins are used in West Fargo's recycling program.David Samson / The Forum

West Fargo's recycling program is vastly different from the Fargo-Moorhead program, making a cost comparison nearly impossible. A recent Forum story used a limited cost analysis and outdated information that raises questions about whether West Fargo residents are paying more for recycling than residents in Fargo-Moorhead. Waste Management would like to provide more information so that residents have a better understanding of the cost considerations.

The article's analysis does not include the capital costs for recycling trucks purchased for the Fargo-Moorhead program. Recycling trucks are very expensive and Fargo-Moorhead residents do pay a fee to cover these and other costs of the recycling program. This information was not included in The Forum analysis. Conversely, the tipping fee paid by West Fargo is currently at $43/ton, not $36/ton as stated in the article, which results in an even greater cost savings from landfill diversion for West Fargo.

Misleading information can affect public opinion and, in turn, affect Waste Management's ability to achieve the high recycling rates that our company is known for. It can put our relationship with local governments at risk and have a dampening effect on resident's interest in recycling.

We would like to assure the residents of West Fargo that they are getting the best and most cost-effective recycling program. With Waste Management's "no sort" recycling, we have made recycling easy and convenient so that more people participate in the program. Residents have tripled the amount of material diverted from the landfill, saving the city of West Fargo on landfill tipping fees. West Fargo's leadership and their partnership with Waste Management on the West Fargo Transfer Station has created the demand for "no sort" recycling beyond the city's borders, and has driven increased recycling rates throughout the region.

Make no mistake, Waste Management is taking care of your recyclables and our partnership with West Fargo provides residents with a program that is best for residents and for the environment.