Recycling center regroups after trash change
July 31, 2012
One month after the new trash program brought curbside recycling to everyone in Summit County, Recycle Utah Director Insa Riepen said they are beginning to feel the financial impact.
Allied Waste, Summit County’s new trash provider, collects all recyclable materials except for glass, a material that is costly to recycle. Due to this, Riepen said Recycle Utah has seen a large increase in residents coming by and dropping off their glass and nothing else.
"There is a market for recycled glass," Riepen said. "But it is expensive for us to ship it to Salt Lake where the plant is. But people recycle glass because they know it is the right thing to do for the environment so I am glad we have seen an increase instead of people just throwing it away."
Riepen added that some residents have been bringing other recyclable materials to center along with their glass, like aluminum and plastic, to help offset the cost of recycling glass.
"It is very nice of our customers to be concerned about our well being and understand that we need to make money and glass isn’t going to do it. I think everyone wants to keep us around and make sure we stay because with us, they know exactly where their recycling is going," Riepen said. "We have not seen too big of a drop in profits yet, but I expect we will as the curbside recycling program picks up."
Gordon Raymond, manager of municipal services for Allied Waste, said that the kinks in the new trash and recycling program have been mostly ironed out as they figured out the "unique needs" of Summit County residents.
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"Every area is different and there are a lot of second homes so we just had to figure out the needs of each area," he said. "Right now, our biggest issue is contamination of the recycling bins. People are putting trash in with their recycling still. But residents have been pretty good about not putting glass into their recycling."
As of last week, Allied Waste had decided to subcontract out Old Town’s recycling collection to CurbIt Recycling. Raymond said CurbIt is better equipped to handle the narrow streets of the neighborhood.
"They provided for that area before and their trucks are smaller so it was just a better option for everyone," he said. "Residents in the area can still use the big can we provided them with or they can request a smaller can if they do not need that much space. We do ask that they move away from using the old 18-gallon bins that do not have a lid."
To request a different recycling can or a second trash can, residents should contact Allied Waste at 435-615-8311.