‘We’re going to continue recycling’: 63% of Washington County residents opt to keep the blue bins

A blue recycle bin and trash can. The Washington County Solid Waste District is currently visiting municipalities in the county in order to get a new contact for trash and recycle pick up by Republic Services approved, St. George, Utah, July 9, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

IVINS CITY — After an opt-out period where residents had a chance to no longer include recycling in their trash pick-up, 63% of Washington County residents ended up opting to keep their blue bins.

Publicity photo of residents putting recyclables into a BluCan container. | Photo courtesy of Washington County Solid Waste District, St. George News

That was enough to qualify Washington County residents for the lowest price tier as far as the additional recycling fee to be added to their waste collection bill.

Cheyne McDonald, chairman of the board of the Washington County Solid Waste District and an Ivins City council member, made the announcement during the Ivins City Council meeting Thursday night.

“We’re going to continue recycling,” McDonald said. “Landfills are not cheap to build. That is exciting news.”

As part of a new 10-year contract with Republic Services, residents throughout the county were given three months to remove recycling from their trash pick-up. The number of county residents opting to keep recycling would determine how large the extra recycling fee would be for those who decided to keep the distinctive BluCans distributed by the solid waste district.

While the trash pick-up rate varies between cities in Washington County, more than 51% of county residents needed to keep the recycling program to qualify for the lowest Tier 1 monthly recycling fee that will start at $4.91 in 2021 and increase to $6.13 by 2030.

A breakdown of rates for trash and recyclable pick up over the next 10 years as proposed by Republic Services to Washington County. | Image courtesy of Washington City, St. George News | Click to enlarge

That compares to a Tier 3 fee that would start at $5.91 and increases to $7.38 by 2030 if between 34% and 41% opted in. Less than 34% and the recycling program would have been scrapped altogether.

We needed to be at 51% in the county,” McDonald said. “We ended up at 63%.”.

The amount who opted in is still less than the 87% of the Washington County Solid Waste District’s customers who signed into the original recycling program in 2015.

Ivins City and Springdale tied for the highest opt-in rates among county residents, with 85% each.

Residents can no longer opt out of the recycling program if they have it, but they can still add it to their trash collection by contacting their local municipality’s city offices. New trash customers will automatically be added to the recycling program, as will a resident if they move to another address in Washington County.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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