No longer able to drive to the Transfer Station, Ogaard pushes for twice-monthly curbside pick-up

    Eleanor Ogaard says she’s been recycling for a long time, “Way before a lot of other people did,” she said at this week’s Crookston City Council meeting, where she requested that City crews go around town and pick up recyclables on curbsides twice a month instead of the current once-a-month practice.

    Ogaard no longer drives, so she said she can no longer do what she said a lot of Crookston residents do, which is take their blue recycling containers to the Polk County Transfer Station in Crookston before their monthly City curbside pick-up date because their bins are full.

    “I’m sure all of you will be in my shoes at some point,” she told the council and Mayor Wayne Melbye. “It sounds easy now (to make a trip to the Transfer Station), but when you get to my age it’s a problem.”

    Letting her recyclables pile up in the garage for the whole month in their duplex, which Ogaard said also includes a renter, is not an ideal situation. “It’s everywhere; it really starts piling up,” she said.

    Ogaard said she’s speaking for other people in her age demographic, who think recycling is important and that it’s important to reuse things instead of using materials once and just throwing them away. It’s possible, she added, that the City of Crookston needs to do a better job of promoting its recycling program. “It seems like not a lot of people do it; maybe we’re negligent in trying to promote it,” Ogaard said. “We need to use this stuff over again and not put it in the dump. …I think the City of Crookston should definitely put more emphasis on recycling.”

    A lot of elderly people eventually move out of their homes and into more smaller, more controlled living spaces and no longer have to worry about where their recyclables go. “But I’m going to stay in my home just as long as I can, and I want to obey the laws of the City, too,” she said. “I would like at least a little consideration being given for people our age.”

    Ogaard said last month, a friend hauled her full recycling bins to the Transfer Station before her monthly City curbside pickup. “But you can’t expect your friends to do that all the time when it gets to be overwhelming,” she added.