Just over the Red River about 5 miles east of Fargo, ND, sits the tiny city of Dilworth, MN. This city is home to approximately 4,000 residents and currently does not have a curbside recycling program in place. Dilworth has one community recycling center where residents can bring their recyclables on Tuesdays, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, from to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Dilworth recycling
Dilworth, MN, does not have a curbside recycling program, but incentivizes its residents to take recyclables to a recycling center by imposing a weekly garbage allowance.
Dilworth is located in mostly remote Clay County and isn’t alone in lacking curbside recycling. The only city within Clay County that offers curbside recycling for its residents is the county seat, Moorhead, which is located in between Fargo and Dilworth. Moorhead boasts more than 39,000 residents and two prominent colleges. Each city within Clay County, however, does have its own general recycling center. There are also locations available for special wastes such as fluorescent bulbs, electronics, batteries and household hazardous waste. This is really a best-case scenario for towns of similar size to Dilworth. In Dilworth, the recycling center collects the following materials during its three weekly days of operation:
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard, including corrugated cardboard, brown paper bags and paperboard
  • Clear, brown or green glass
  • Magazines
  • Newsprint
  • Paper
  • Phone books (accepted March 17 to May 10)
  • Plastic bottles (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7)
  • Steel and tin cans
Yet, despite not having the convenience of curbside recycling, Dilworth still concentrates on waste diversion. Dilworth residents have a weekly garbage allowance — they can only have two 30-/32-gallon cans or bags of garbage picked up each week. Any excess garbage must have a special tag on it that is available for purchase at Dilworth City Hall or a few other local locations. This makes bringing recyclables to the local recycling center, free of charge, more attractive and also encourages residents to be more mindful about what they are throwing into their garbage bins. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, recycling programs in Clay County collected 19,343 tons of recyclable materials from residents and organizations in 2010, up from 13,188 tons in 2000. There is currently no talk of making curbside recycling available to the residents of Dilworth or any of the other cities that do not provide this service in Clay County. The bulk of Clay County’s population lives in Moorhead so the bulk of the waste is generated there. The priority is to encourage recycling across the county but to make it especially convenient in the most populous city. For more information about life in Dilworth, visit dilworthcitymn.com.