St. George could implement curbside recycling

Recycle bins used by Washington County Solid Waste located at the Hurst General Store parking lot, St. George, Utah, May 9, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Recycling in St. George could move from clusters of bins to the addition of curbside service in the future.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike floated the idea of curbside recycling by the City Council earlier this year with a positive reception. The City Council discussed the matter further during a presentation given by  representatives of Rocky Mountain Recycling and Republic Services Thursday. 

Larry Gibbons, of Rocky Mountain Recycling, told the City Council that recycling in Washington County has picked up within the last decade. Approximately 600 tons of recyclable materials was diverted from the county landfill in 2008, with that amount swelling to 1,600 tons in 2013.

Every year we’re seeing a little bit of a pick up,” Gibbons said.

Around 65 percent of discarded materials are recyclable, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, yet only 25 percent is actually recycled.

In Washington County, Gibbons said about 3 percent of recyclable materials make it to the plant Rocky Mountain Recycling has in St. George. That percentage could increase with proposed curbside service in the city, Gibbons said.

Curbside recycling services could run between $3-$7 per month, said Gordon Raymond, general manager of Republic Services. Raymond and Gibbons said the majority of cities on the Wasatch Front employ curbside recycling. Gibbons said he pays around $10 for the service where he lives.

A question of whether or not the program would be mandatory or allow residents to opt-out was discussed, though not hashed out in detail.

Though a large number of participants will help spread out the cost, Councilman Gil Almquist said he was in favor of an opt-out program. One of the reasons for this was to better accommodate people who live in St. George for a part of the year, Almquist said.

As for making the public aware of a curbside recycling program and its potential benefits, Gibbons said Rocky Mountain Recycling usually engages in public education campaigns concerning the matter.

“A lot of this is about education,” Councilman Jimmie Hughes said.

About 2,000 people in the St. George area are already subscribed to a curbside recycling service, Gibbons said

Pike said he would like to move forward with the program, noting that the particulars will still need to be worked out. The council gave its verbal approval.

Recycling in Washington County is currently handled through Washington County Solid Waste. A list of recycle drop-off bins can be found on its website here.

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8 Comments

  • Red Rocker May 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    We look forward to curbside recycling. Hope it is “single stream” style. Every little thing we do to make our planet better helps coming generations.

    RR

  • My Evil Twin May 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    How about the surrounding communities? What are we, chopped liver? 🙁

  • ROGER May 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I THINK THEY WILL MAKE ENOUGH OFF THE RECYCING TO PAY FOR THE P/U AND THE BINS WHO WILL PROFIT FROM THE MONEY THEY MAKE

  • Anarchist1 May 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    So RMR gets paid to pick up these bins, then gets all the recyclable material for free?

  • Wardlady May 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I do a lot of recycling at my home as well as at my work and it takes me time out of my already busy life to take it to the binnies and sort it. By dang I will be mad if I have to PAY someone else to haul it for me!

  • My two cents May 10, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I already pay for curbside recycling. And have for 3+ years. They should be charging the people that do NOT recycle. I am helping by doing my part and keeping recyclables out of the landfill. And they stick it to me by charging me for my service. I will continue to pay because I know that what I’m doing is right. However, the Mayor should reevaluate what this looks like. Giving people the chance to “opt out” is fine, but they should be charged more for not participating.

  • Zeke May 10, 2014 at 7:02 am

    So everyone will get charged the $3-$7 a month on their garbage bill whether they recycle or not? Or will this be voluntary? This must be the particulars that are being worked out.

  • DB May 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Where I used to live (out of state), every household was charged six dollars monthly. Whether or not you participated was up to you. By “single stream”, you mean you dump everything in and it is sorted at a central location?

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