ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud city council is expected to take the next step toward a major change to the city's recycling program, during their regular council meeting tonight (Monday).

The council could approve the purchase of 16,500 95-gallon recycling carts.  They would replace the current smaller green bins city residents are using now.

The larger high-tech bins each contain a Radio Frequency Identification tag.  Once scanned, the tag will contain the serial number of the cart, the customer's address, and the GPS coordinates of the cart.  Software will track the collection data from bins and compiles a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly collection report.  It can also track customer participation.

St. Cloud Public Services Director Patrick Shea says,  "the switch to the microchip bins is just so the city can keep track of the city-owned bins that are out there.  The bulk of the cost is for the bins themselves.  The microchip add-on is about an additional $1.40 per microchip."

The entire cost of the project is nearly $1 million.

Shea says, "The $1 million up front cost is being paid for through the reserve funds already in the city's recycling budget.  The city has been ramping up for this change for five years now, and has been collecting additional funds from residents to build up the reserve."

The transition to the single sort system is expected to happen in September.  At that time your recycling will be collected every other week, instead of the current every week system.