~ Quoted in Time Magazine "Don't blow it -- good planets are hard to find."
The question is often asked as to why a traditional curbside recycling program as part of governmental operations is not available to residents of some cities.
The answer lies in the financial burden of such an operation being placed on the backs of the citizens. To be fiscally responsible in the implementation of curbside pick-up, the voices of residents should be heard through an offering of opt-in or opt-out processes to finance the service. Many city councils in our area have not wanted to tax their residents to pay for something only a limited number of people would use.
Several communities in Davis and Morgan counties participate in a substantial, but underappreciated, recycling program that is, in many ways, superior to traditional recycling.
Garbage collected from homes is burned at the incineration facility operated by Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District. The waste incineration process produces steam, which is recycled and used as electrical power; garbage is recycled to generate energy.
The steam is used to heat buildings on Hill Air Force Base, and the electricity is used by the district for its buildings with any excess sold to Rocky Mountain Power. The district also has programs for recycling grass clippings and trees limbs into usable soil enhancements.
The recycling program currently used by WIWMD has significantly reduced the amount of material being deposited in the landfill. The current waste salvaging keeps more refuse out of the landfill than even traditional recycling would.
Also, a new facility that handles traditional recycling has been built near the WIWMD landfill. Those who want to can deposit such things as plastic, flattened cardboard, steel cans, aluminum cans, phone books and magazines.
This facility can also accommodate household hazardous waste, such as paint, paint thinner, stain, household cleaners, fertilizer, unused oil, unused antifreeze, automotive products, propane tanks, gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel. These products are put in a re-use shed for anyone to take at no cost.
It should be noted that no more than 20 gallons of any one item may be dropped off for disposal or re-use per visit. No fee is assessed to deposit recyclable material at this drop-off station.
Curbside green waste pickup is another option for city councils to consider.
Current and future councils must consider the cost traditional curbside recycling will have to the residents of their communities.
Steve Curtis has worked as a business consultant and communication specialist. He is currently mayor of Layton. He can be reached at email@example.com.