Waste Hauler FAQs

Waste Hauler FAQs

Each month, the City of Sioux Falls Sustainability Program receives reports from the landfill for each of the licensed waste hauler’s municipal solid waste (MSW) and yard waste totals for the previous month. Material recycling facilities (MRFs) submit reports to the Sustainability Program with the total weight of recyclable material for each of the licensed waste haulers for the previous month. MRFs have until the 15th of the month to file this information with our office for the previous month. Once the information is compiled, the Sustainability Program creates each waste hauler’s monthly recycling report. A sample of the report can be found here. Typically recycling reports are mailed out to haulers around the 18th of the month. They are to be reviewed and signed by the waste haulers and sent back to the Sustainability Program by the last day of the month. If a hauler disagrees with the information in the recycling report, they can indicate this on the report, and the Sustainability Program will follow up with the hauler. (Ordinance 57.082, 57.084)

Other information found on the recycling report includes MSW from other sites, such as the Lincoln County Transfer Station and any additional claims. Additional claims are typically recycling tonnages from sources outside of the hauler’s normal monthly recycling totals at the MRFs. Often times these are from haulers’ customers who may self-ship their recyclables. Further information about additional claims can be found below.

Currently, a waste hauler’s recycling rate is calculated by taking the total verified weight of all recyclable material + the total verified weight of all yard waste hauled to the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill (SFRSL) over the total weight of all recyclable material + yard waste hauled to the SFRSL + the total verified weight of all municipal solid waste. The equation can be found below. Beginning in 2018, yard waste will no longer be included in the recycling rate calculation.

Current recycling rate calculation:

Recycling rate in 2018 and beyond:

(Ordinance 57.081)
Each year, the City will use the same equation as is listed above, but will include the total weight from all licensed haulers. Essentially, whatever the overall recycling rate is for the previous year becomes the goal for the next year. For example, if the overall recycling rate is determined to be 25 percent for 2017, the goal for 2018 would be 25 percent. The City is required to announce the new goal each year by March 31. Each licensed waste hauler is required to achieve 80 percent of the recycling goal (referred to as the recycling standard) by December 31 in order to avoid enforcement. In the 25 percent recycling goal example, haulers would be required to achieve a minimum of 20 percent recycling rate by the end of the year.

Waste haulers who fail to meet the annual mandatory recycling standard will be subject to enforcement.

  1. The first year not meeting the mandatory recycling standard, the City will issue a notice of violation (NOV) to the licensed waste hauler. Within 30 days of receiving the NOV, the hauler is required to submit a corrective action plan to the City, describing efforts that will be taken to achieve the recycling goal. The hauler will also be surcharged $1 per municipal solid waste ton hauled to the SFRSL the previous calendar year.
  2. The second consecutive year not meeting the recycling standard, the City will issue a NOV to the licensed waste hauler. Within 60 days of receiving the NOV, the hauler is required to submit an acceptable corrective action plan to the City describing efforts that will be taken to achieve the recycling goal. The corrective action plan must be developed by a qualified environmental engineering consultant. The engineer must sign off that there is a reasonable expectation that if the corrective action plan is implemented, it will bring the licensed hauler in compliance with the recycling standard. The hauler will also be surcharged $2 per municipal solid waste ton hauled to the SFRSL the previous calendar year.
  3. The third consecutive year not achieving the recycling standard will result in revocation of the hauler’s license. The business owners or responsible party will not be allowed to reapply for a new license for five years.
    (57.105 (g 1-4))

The City uses the EPA’s “Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local Governments” Table B which can be found in the resources link. The table outlines what materials can be recycled and what processes are considered recycling. For example, lead-acid batteries are considered a recyclable material if they come from cars, trucks, or motorcycles, and are made into new plastic and lead products. However, lead-acid batteries found in large equipment, aircraft, military vehicles, boats, heavy-duty trucks and tractors, and industrial applications do not count towards the recycling rate. The City will continue using this guide for recyclable material, with the exemption of yard waste and wood waste beginning in 2018, as this metric will no longer be used in the recycling rate calculation.

We use the EPA’s “Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local Governments” Table A to determine if a material is considered MSW. If a hauler hauls material which the EPA does not consider to be MSW, the hauler should work with City staff to apply for an MSW exemption to remove the tonnage from their MSW total so it does not count against them in their recycling rate calculations. For example, all Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste is hauled to a separate area of the landfill, and tonnages from C&D projects do not factor into the MSW total or recycling rate calculation. There isn’t a need to apply for an MSW exemption for C&D waste, as it is already separated. However, if a hauler has an industrial manufacturing customer and can verify which weight tickets were hauled to the MSW landfill which were made up of only industrial process waste, industrial sludges, or food processing waste from agricultural and industrial operations, the hauler can apply for a MSW exemption from the landfill. All MSW exemptions are submitted to the Landfill Superintendent for approval.
Garbage haulers who provide both waste service and recycling service for businesses may claim recyclable materials businesses ship themselves. Haulers can use the additional claim form or the business self-shipped form to account for the material. A verifiable weight ticket must be available if requested by the Sustainability Coordinator. In addition, the materials and processes must be those which are approved on the EPA’s “Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local Governments” Table B. For example, materials which are reused by a business cannot count towards a hauler’s recycling rate. However, if a business self-ships their corrugated cardboard to a recycling facility, it may count towards their hauler’s recycling rate.
For the most part, whatever a waste hauler brings to the landfill which gets coded as “MSW” will count towards a hauler’s total MSW. However, occasionally waste haulers may have customers who generate waste which is not considered by the EPA to be Municipal Solid Waste. The EPA’S “Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local Governments” Table A has a list of examples which can and cannot count towards MSW. For example, industrial process waste, medical waste, and industrial sludge should not count towards a hauler’s MSW total. It is the waste hauler’s responsibility to ask for an exemption for this material from their total MSW. In order to do so, please fill out the MSW Case-by-Case Exemption Form and return it to the Sustainability Coordinator. The exemption must be approved by the Landfill Superintendent in order to have the tonnage removed from the hauler’s MSW total. Because C&D waste is coded differently and taken to a separate area of the landfill, it is not used in the recycling rate equation as a recyclable or MSW.
Required recyclables include paper, cardboard and chip board, plastics, metal containers, newspaper, and electronics. Waste haulers shall not collect solid waste containing visible required recyclable materials for disposal. Instead, haulers must leave a note explaining why solid waste was not collected. The Sustainability Coordinator has sample “oops” stickers which may be used for this purpose and can be picked up by haulers for free.
(57.001, 57.032)

All licensed haulers must have a billing system consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan of solid waste reduction and recycling program. This system must have the following elements:

1) A pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) rate to reward people who reduce their level of solid waste collection service based on either volume or weight. Haulers must provide at least two levels of service. For each volume increase of at least one and four-tenths times over a lower level of service, the rate of each higher level of service must be at least one-fourth times the corresponding lower level of service.

2) A rate to provide customers with adequate options and incentives to reduce their weekly level of solid waste collection service and the amount of solid waste collected as a result of their participation in waste reduction and recycling programs.

3) A rate that includes the combined cost of solid waste, using the above elements, and recycling collection services.

Haulers must collect recyclable material from residential customers at least twice per month. The hauler must offer single-stream recycling for residential customers. Haulers may provide specific handling instructions for recyclable materials, such as placing shredded paper in a clear plastic bag. (57.027)

Multi-Family Housing:
The owner of every apartment or multi-family housing unit must 1) facilitate recycling in each building by providing adequate single-stream recycling containers stored in a convenient location for the collection of recyclables, 2) provide recycling service along with garbage service, 3) distribute written recycling information to the tenants at the time of leasing, and at least annually thereafter or whenever a new garbage/recycling service provider is acquired, and 4) also post recycling information in a conspicuous place available to all residents. (57.029)

Commercial and business establishments, government facilities, entertainment facilities, and schools shall separate from the waste stream all materials banned from the landfill generated at the establishment. The recyclable materials shall not be deposited at the sanitary landfill, and the recyclables must be collected at minimum twice per month. Nonresidential sites may use either single-stream, dual-stream, or source-separated methodology for the collection and management of recyclable materials. (57.028, 57.030)
Each month in 2017, the Sustainability Coordinator will issue a recycling report to each licensed hauler. The recycling report will list the previous month’s totals for MSW, recyclables, and yard waste. At the bottom of the report you’ll find your monthly recycling rate, your year-to-date recycling rate, and your year-to-date recycling rate with yard waste removed.
Each year, the Environmental Division will calculate the regional diversion rate. This value is an estimation, and includes all materials and processes which may not be considered to be recycling by the EPA, but which was prevented from ending up in the landfill. Examples include materials which were reused rather than landfilled and concrete and asphalt recycling. At the end of each year, the Environmental Division sends out Diversion Rate Assessment forms to area businesses. These forms are for the diversion rate assessment only and should not be used by haulers for their recycling rate assessment.

The Solid Waste Planning Board is a Mayor-appointed board which is tasked with reviewing the current waste stream of the users of the landfill and investigate how it may vary in the future and analyze how current and future recycling efforts may impact the waste stream. They also assess current ordinances and statutes and recommend appropriate changes. There are two representatives on the board which are reserved for waste hauler/recycling industry representatives. The term limit for these positions is three years. When there is a vacancy on the board, the City will send out a news release. Haulers are also encouraged to attend Solid Waste Planning Board Meetings. The board sets the annual schedule at the first meeting of the year which typically takes place on the last Tuesday in January at 5:30 p.m. The location is to be determined. Please check the board’s page for information on past and future meetings: http://siouxfalls.org/mayor/boards-commissions/solid-waste-board/solid-waste-planning-bd


On occasion, the City also hosts solid waste industry meetings. There is not a set schedule for these meetings, but they do occur as needed. Haulers are typically notified via email. To add your email address to the mailing list, please contact the Sustainability Coordinator. You may also check the industry page for information on past and future meetings: http://siouxfalls.org/mayor/boards-commissions/solid-waste-board/solid-waste-recycling

The City of Sioux Falls is dedicated to educating our citizens about the importance of recycling and waste diversion. Each year, the City advertises recycling and waste diversion public service announcements throughout the five-county region in the form of TV ads, radio ads, billboards, digital ads, etc. In addition, the Landfill and Environmental Divisions attend a number of regional community outreach events to educate residents about recycling. Haulers are also encouraged to pick up recycling flyers and are required to, at least annually, provide customers with written information regarding volume of base-rate structure and garbage, and yard waste service (57.086). Below are general letters which may be downloaded by waste haulers and distributed to customers to inform them of the recycling requirements. If further enforcement of recycling ordinances is needed, please contact the Sustainability Coordinator.