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Message from the Mayor: Recycling in the City

Article Published 07/03/2009

April 30, 2009

In reference to recycling of plastics, glass, aluminum, etc., or traditional recycling, the City Council has found, through discussion, that it is a costly service and does not pay for itself. The cost for Layton has been estimated to be about $1,000,000 per year. Our research has also found that its implementation in some Utah cities has been received with mixed results to the point where some municipalities have discontinued such services because of cost and lack of interest. Some cities have started voluntary programs over the last few years and run into some problems because citizen participation has not compiled the projected numbers that they hoped it would.

The only way to make a traditional recycling operation financially viable is to force everyone in the City to participate and pay for it. The Layton City Council has not wanted to do that because it would force people to pay for something only a limited number would use.

A note of interest is that the cities in Davis and Morgan Counties (this includes Layton, but excludes Bountiful) are presently participating in a huge recycling program that is similar to traditional recycling. Garbage collected from homes is burned at the incineration facility operated by Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District (www.wasatchintegrated.org). That process produces steam and electricity, that is, garbage recycled to energy. The steam is used to heat buildings at Hill Air Force Base, and the District uses the electricity for its buildings with any excess sold to Rocky Mountain Power. The District also has programs for recycling grass clippings and treelimbs into usable soil enhancements. Burning the garbage has reduced the amount of material deposited in the landfill much more than any traditional recycling would accomplish.

As time goes on, there may be changes that make traditional recycling more viable, or future City Councils may take a different look at the imposition of the cost on the citizens of Layton.

Curbside Recycling is available privately through Mountain West Recycling, 801.627.3056 or www.mwrecycling.com.

Steve Curtis
Layton City Mayor