OGDEN — Ogden City will temporarily suspend their recycling program while they attempt to finalize a new contract with a local provider.
The city announced the decision late Tuesday on Facebook and in a press release. The release says the city administration was recently notified of a 47 percent increase in recycling tipping fees at Ogden-based Recycled Earth. Tipping fees are charged when processing facilities receive waste and are generally used to offset maintenance costs.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said the increase has made the recycling deal less viable than it has been in the past. The city, though, is working to resolve the situation quickly and ultimately hopes to continue the program, Johnson said.
“It’s something we want to be able to provide for our residents,” he said. “But obviously, it’s got to make sense financially.”
David Rawson, who owns Recycled Earth with his wife Amy, said the company also hopes to reach a resolution and is committed to working closely with Ogden to reach that end. Rawson thinks an interim agreement, which would allow recycling to continue in Ogden while further negotiations take place, is on the horizon.
“I think we’re really close to that,” Rawson said.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that governments across the nation are grappling what to do with their recycling programs after China stopped accepting imported plastic and paper, driving up municipal collection bills.
Amy Rawson said the global trend has hit Ogden too. In 2018, Recycled Earth was awarded a short-term contract to handle Weber County’s recyclables after the county discontinued its program due to high costs associated with it.
“We’re not trying to gouge the city,” Amy Rawson said. “This is purely a response to the market.”
Rawson said the amount of non-recyclable garbage found in recycling deliveries has also driven operating costs upward.
As negotiations continue, city residents should continue their normal waste sorting practices, Johnson said. City trucks will continue to pick up blue recycle bins on regularly scheduled pick-up days and residents should continue to sort waste materials by putting plastics No. 1 and No. 2, non-waxed paper and clean aluminum in the bin.
“We don’t want people to get out of the recycling habit,” he said. “The program could continue at any time.”
Recyclable materials can be taken directly to Recycled Earth, if they choose. The city’s glass recycling program is not impacted. Glass will continue to be accepted at bins at Ogden High, 4th Street Park and Ogden’s Green Waste site.