County seeks to make recycling easier with new online tools

A new set of online tools promises to make recycling easier for Washington County residents. | Photo courtesy of BluCan, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new set of online tools released by Washington County Solid Waste hopes to demystify recycling for residents not quite used to dividing trash and viable recyclables.

BluCan Recycling display at the St. George City Offices, St. George, Utah, Jan. 22, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

One year since its inception, the BluCan recycling program has reportedly been a source of confusion for some residents. The new free online tools were produced to alleviate some of that confusion, giving residents pickup day reminders, clear information on what can be recycled, recycling event information and quick access to personalized garbage and recycling help.

“I’m guessing that we only have about 50 percent of the population who have a BluCan are putting it out,” Neil Schwendiman, Washington County Solid Waste district manager, said.

Schwendiman said new online tools were released in part to see that number rise.

“The other reason behind it is because we have the public service that collects the garbage cans and then we have Dixie Waste who collects the recycling cans,” Schwendiman said.

Garbage and recycling pickup times and weeks vary. The website allows users to receive text messages, emails or twitter reminders the day before they need to take their recycling to the curb, as well as a personalized printable calendar.

“It’s just the most easy, simple way to be reminded what cans are supposed to be put (out) each week,” Schwendiman said of the newly launched calendar service.

Go to Washington County Solid Waste online to obtain your calendar, schedule reminders and learn more.

We started out with a fair amount of contamination,” Schwendiman said. “I’m hoping that (the website) will help people understand what can and can’t be recycled here in our area because it’s not always the same wherever you go.”

A lot of what Dixie Waste picks up ends up not being recyclable because it wasn’t properly cleaned first or it is not the right type of material, such as plastic grocery bags.

A list of what can and can’t go in the BluCan container | Image courtesy of, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge.

The website now houses a database of recyclables, and customers can simply type in whatever they have a question about to find out whether it goes in their waste or recycling can. Even if it can’t be recycled by BluCan, the site provides alternative recycling drop-off sites for specific items, such as glass.

“The more we can get people interested in it and recycling the correct things,” Schwendiman said “the better the program will be.”

Any problems with missed pickups, scheduling issues or can maintenance may also be conveniently submitted from the website.

St. George, LaVerkin, Leeds, Hurricane, Ivins, Rockville, Santa Clara, Springdale, Toquerville and Washington City initiated the program last year as a means to prolong the life of the county’s landfill.

Several cities allowed residents to opt out of the program, while others made it mandatory.

Of all the cities utilizing the BluCan service, Schwendiman said currently 81 percent of residents are opted in to the program.

“It’s been good, we’re getting about 400 tons a month,” Schwendiman said of the amount of recycling Dixie Waste collects.

The new online tools will also alert customers of county-sponsored recycling days and events, such as household hazardous waste days when people may bring their waste directly to the landfill for disposal.

It will also send out alerts when volunteers are needed for events like the “Give Your Land a Hand” campaign.

“It’s a great way for residents to get involved in their community and help keep it clean,” Schwendiman said.

The free online tools may be accessed at the Washington County Solid Waste website.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • wilbur February 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    So we have to use precious water to clean our recyclables before they all get dumped into one dirty truckload?

    Makes a lot of sense to an enviro, I guess.

    The rest of us, not so much.

  • ErrickD February 8, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    So, despite that mean that my recycle bin will actually be picked up? Seriously, I have Christmas wrapping STILL in my recycle bin. Getting tired of this.

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