The city council has scheduled a public hearing as part of their July 21 meeting to gauge residents’ feelings on curbside recycling. Though the council is already leaning toward an opt-out program, its members believe that the hearing is important before more specific decisions are discussed. If the public supports moving ahead, a second public hearing would be scheduled to get resident response on a more specific plan.
“It’s important to get feedback from the public,” said North Salt Lake City Manager Collin Wood. “That way, residents don’t feel that it’s shoved down their throats.”
The city got some early estimates for a potential curbside recycling program, the cheapest of which was from Waste Management. According to these estimates, it would cost about $3.30 if everyone chose not to opt out and about $3.70 if 70 percent of the city chose not to opt out (Centerville, who recently approved their own curbside recycling program, had about 80 percent of residents choose not to opt out of the program).
Several different options were discussed for how to arrange the opt-out period, and the council discussed issues including whether new residents will be given the same period where they could opt-out.
The public comment period featured opinions both for and against curbside recycling, including some from those who had already experienced recycling programs in other cities.
“My neighbors and I were very irritated when Bountiful decided to do it,” said North Salt Lake Attorney Mike Neilsen, who lives in Bountiful. “But it’s been very easy, very supported, and has had a lot of community involvement.
“People who I thought would never recycle are really getting into it.”
Wood, however, cautioned that North Salt Lake is in a slightly different situation.
“Bountiful is a different animal,” he said.
“If you have an exclusive landfill, you shorten its life if you don’t recycle. I’m amazed that it took them so long to start.”
Woods Cross was the first south Davis City to start an opt-out curbside recycling program, and Centerville will be starting their own opt-out program this fall. Bountiful, the only south Davis city to have a mandatory curbside recycling program, began theirs late last year.