Comment sought on green waste recycling plan
Curbside green-waste recycling is scheduled to begin next year on a subscription basis in Salt Lake Valley communities served by the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District.
But before the plan is finalized, the district's board wants to hear what customers have to say about that idea and three other proposals, including one that lets people rent bulk waste disposal trailers again, albeit for a higher fee.
A public hearing on those matters will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at district offices in Salt Lake County's public works administration building, 604 W. 6960 South, in Midvale.
"We're hoping green-waste recycling takes off," said Pam Roberts, executive director of the district, formerly known as Salt Lake County Service District 1. The district changed its name and became an independent regional service provider on Jan. 1, reflecting the fact its customers include residents of five cities (Taylorsville, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Herriman and part of Murray) as well as the unincorporated county.
After breaking from Salt Lake County, the district conducted a customer-service survey that showed 17 percent of its 81,000 customers were willing to pay an extra fee to recycle green waste, which includes grass clippings, leaves, fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags.
"Since it was only 17 percent, we thought we should roll out the program on a subscription basis," Roberts said. "Those who want it can sign up."
To subscribe will cost $60 this year so the district can buy kelly green cans for participating residents. The service will cost $115 in 2014. Collections will begin in the spring, on the same days of customers' garbage and recycling pickups, she added.
"The biggest challenge, and the biggest unknown, is how many people will sign up. Even if it's small to start with, I really hope folks will buy into it," Roberts said, contending a successful program will extend the life of the landfill and save money. Garbage soon will cost $29 a ton to process compared to $16 a ton for composting green waste.
She said the district's approach mirrors existing programs in West Jordan and Salt Lake City. The latter's website said curbside composting collections reduced the city's total waste stream by more than 20 percent.
The public hearing also will address district plans to reinstate rentals of bulk waste-disposal trailers, a program suspended by the board last year out of concern it competed with private haulers.
After evaluating that concern for months, Roberts concluded that residents did not switch to private haulers, whose trailers are larger and more expensive than most home cleanup projects require, and that many people resorted to illegal dumping to dispose of their junk.
"We anticipate customers rejoicing" at the reinstatement, she added, even if the fee goes from $100 to $125.
Public comment also will be accepted on plans to charge customers $25, the maximum amount allowed by state law, if their checks bounce, and to accept a $79,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality to buy trucks that run on compressed natural gas.
P Comments on the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District's proposal to initiate some curbside green-waste recycling will be accepted at a hearing at 6 p.m. Monday at district offices, 604 W. 6960 South, Midvale.