By Melinda Fitzgerald
Orem City is hoping that raising public awareness will save its beleaguered recycling program.
“If 2,500 people sign up for the service we will continue the program,” Jim Jones of Waste Management Inc. said.
Waste Management notified the city a few weeks ago that the program was going to be cut because of lack of support.
“There are 16,000 homes in Orem, but less than 600 people were participating so we were losing about $4,000 per month,” Jones said.
Orem City is confident that through awareness they will be able to get the 2,500 participants required to keep the service.
“We hope that by bringing awareness of the program we will bring information to people who want to recycle, but don’t know what to do,” Orem Mayor Jerry Washburn said.
A personal letter from Washburn containing information about the recycling program will immediately go out to Orem residents with their billing statements.
“We have figured that more than half of what is currently being thrown away can be recycled,” said Washburn.
“Orem is the only community in Utah to sponsor a recycling program. We feel that it is our responsibility to the environment to keep this program,” Washburn said.
If the city does get the needed participation, the program will remain about the same, but with some improvements.
“It will still be voluntary and still be $3 per month, but we will have a new automated can and will pick up more things,” Jones said.
Open recycling containers, which resulted in papers blowing in the road, was one of the major complaints of the people using the program according to Washburn.
As a solution to this complaint, residents will be given new cans with lids that are similar to the trash cans they currently use.
“They can push out this new can with their regular can on garbage day,” Jones said. These cans will be picked up about every other week with residents’ regular trash collection.
Newspapers, magazines, cardboard, tin, aluminum and small appliances can be put in the new cans and will be sorted and recycled at the plant.