CEDAR CITY — At Wednesday’s Cedar City Council work meeting, various city recycling options were discussed and an international award was presented to the economic development office for its business expansion effort regarding the MSC Aerospace project.
Cedar City has had a contract with Washington County to have recyclable materials hauled from six bin locations in Cedar City to the Stone Castle Recycling facility, which is no longer in operation due to fires at the Cedar City and Parowan locations earlier this year, Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson said.
Stone Castle Recycling CEO Tony Stoddard was operating without a business license in Iron County, which influenced the city staff’s decision in April to start moving recycled materials to Rocky Mountain Recycling in St. George instead, City Manager Rick Holman said.
An amendment to the city’s contract with Washington County, proposed at Wednesday’s meeting, would allow Washington County workers to continue collecting and hauling the contents of the recycling bins twice each week to Rocky Mountain Recycling in St. George; however, the price will be higher.
Washington County has finished out its original contract at the agreed-upon price, though it is much farther to now haul the city’s recyclables to St. George. Cedar City Public Works Director Ryan Marshall said the previous contract costed the city $19,000 per year, while renewing the contract with the requested amendment would raise the cost to $34,620 per year for the biweekly collection, in consideration of the increased distance.
Marshall said 7,750 tons of waste was hauled to the landfill in 2013 and 200 tons of recycling has been hauled to St. George since April, which is 2.5 percent of the city’s waste. The city’s cost per ton of waste to be dumped into the landfill is $124, while the cost per ton for recycling material would increase from $96 to $173 with the approval of the requested amendment.
Marshall said several federal agencies with offices in Cedar City are required to have recycling programs and have been using the city bins. He said four of those federal agency groups — three of which include Cedar Breaks National Monument, the Bureau Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service — have expressed desires to gather funds to help offset the cost of moving the recycling material to St. George.
“If all four of those agencies are able to come through on that, they would be able to contribute up to $10,680 towards offsetting the cost of this binnie program,” he said.“If we were able to collect that, the cost to the city would then come down to $119 per ton.”
Various options were discussed at the meeting, including curbside pickup and a transfer station. The council determined it would need to meet with county leaders regarding other options that might not cost the city as much.
Cedar Breaks National Monument Superintendent Paul Roelandt said approximately 700,000 visitors come to the monument each summer, and many express a desire to recycle.
“People who are wanting to recycle would be willing to pay for it,” Roelandt said. “At least keep the binnies and find a solution.”
Patrick Fletcher, manager of Robinson Recycling, a facility within Cedar City that processes recycling of various metals and car batteries, said the city should not need to pay for recycling but rather govern the recycling program and leave the cost to citizens who want to recycle. He said a transfer station would be the best option.
Fletcher expressed that he would like to help with recycling of all materials but does not have a large enough facility or equipment to do so.
City staff and council members determined research should be conducted and the various available options for recycling in the county discussed, then a public survey will be conducted to find out what citizens want and whether having citizens pay for recycling would be an option.
Marshall said the other options would be long-term plans, but the amendment with the increased cost on the current bin program is the short-term plan. He said he has received proposals from three of the four interested federal groups expressing desires to help with the cost of the current program.
The contract amendment request was put on the agenda to be considered at the council’s Dec. 3 action meeting.
Financial Development Award
At the meeting, Chamber of Commerce President Scott Jolley presented an award to Economic Development Director Danny Stewart, which Jolley received on behalf of the Economic Development Department while attending the International Economic Development Council Conference in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 19.
The “Business Expansion and Attention of a Single Event” award was for the city’s specific work with MSC Aerospace, a company that is developing business in Cedar City.
Stewart expressed his appreciation to Jolley for representing the city at the conference.
“It is a tremendous award,” Jolley said. “There were roughly 200 awards given at that awards ceremony that I was able to attend, and most of the major site selectors within the country were at that conference.”
Jolley and Stewart expressed to the council and city staff that the award shows a great representation of Cedar City to worldwide site select organizations.
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