North Platte City Hall

North Platte City Hall, 211 W. Third St.

Talks about changing city recycling arrangements will return to the North Platte City Council agenda at a Monday work session and Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Each session will begin at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 211 W. Third St. Tuesday’s schedule begins with the council’s annual “meet and greet” public reception, followed by the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Monday’s nonvoting work session will be devoted to a fresh presentation by Pamela Pacheco, whose North Platte-based ABC Recycling currently processes about 80% of recyclable items the city collects.

Pacheco asked the city in June to consider consolidating all processing of city recyclables with her firm, including the 20% from residential “yellow-top” containers handled by DataShield Corp. of Omaha.

The council and Mayor Dwight Livingston set the proposal aside when Brian Gubbels, owner of DataShield, asked for a chance to explore long-term recycling options with Pacheco and city officials.

Tuesday’s regular agenda includes a proposal to raise the city’s payments to ABC Recycling from $40 or $47.50 per ton, depending on the category, to a flat $70.50 per ton.

That’s the same figure Pacheco quoted to the city in her June proposal to combine all city recycling under ABC. At that point, she said, combined collection costs for ABC and DataShield averaged about $80 per ton.

The increase would boost the city’s cost by $28,000 for the rest of the 2019-20 fiscal year for the 90 to 100 tons per month handled by ABC, according to a council memorandum by Public Service Director Layne Groseth.

It adds that long-term recycling plans are still being discussed, with two or three options likely headed to the council early next year.

Recycling markets have become increasingly difficult to negotiate, stemming in part from China’s decision last year to stop buying U.S. recyclables.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert recently rejected a $4 million bid by Firstar Fiber to continue its recycling services in Nebraska’s largest city. That bid was twice what Omaha officials had estimated, the Omaha World-Herald has reported.

A trio of proposed city ordinances also appears on Tuesday’s council agenda, including first-round debate on a Police Department-drafted measure to fold e-cigarettes into existing city regulations on using and selling tobacco.

It would ban people younger than 19 from possessing “electronic nicotine delivery systems” and “alternative nicotine products,” except under direct in-home supervision by their parents or guardians.

Minors in North Platte already are barred from possessing cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco or dipping tobacco.

E-cigarette dealers, like sellers of tobacco products, would be barred from selling them to people under 19 and would have to meet similar training requirements for their salespeople.

Council members also will hold second-round debate on updating the city’s cable television regulations and take a third and final vote on revising city building codes to reflect the 2018 edition of the International Building Code.

Ordinances require three positive council votes to be enacted, unless council members approve a motion to waive one or more readings.

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