Reduce, reuse, recycle


BY Adam Loose

The Provo City Municipal Council has elected to update its recycling program to increase resident participation and extend the life of landfills.

Recycling programs typically fall into one of three groups.

“There are basically three types of program,” said Provo public services division director Scott Peppler. “One is a subscription, that is where people volunteer. The second is an opt-out program, which seems to be working well in Utah County, and that is where you have to let us know that you do not want to recycle or you will be part of the program.”

Peppler said the third way is just to make it mandatory for everybody.

“I tend to favor that, but a lot of people want a choice in what they do,” he said. “I can understand that.”

The new opt-out program will be implemented Nov. 1. Everyone who currently has Provo city residential curbside waste pickup will automatically have curbside recycling service added unless they opt out by August 1.

“What Provo is doing is saying ‘all residents of Provo, you are going to participate in this program, but we’ll be nice and you get a chance to opt out if you choose not to do it,'” said Brad Mertz, executive director of the Recycling Coalition of Utah.

According to the Provo city website, unless you opt out, you will be given a recycling container and schedule in October, and this service will automatically start on the same day as your regular garbage service beginning Nov. 1. The cost will be $4.75 per month.

Peppler said three options have been provided for individuals who want to opt out. Filling out the form at, calling the city utilities department or mailing in the form with July utility bills will all work equally well.

“If you opt out electronically the information is easier to process, so that is the preferred way,” Peppler said.

With the opt-out program in place a higher participation rate is expected.

“A lot of people want to recycle, but they just don’t take the time to,” Peppler said.

Higher participation is not the only reason for implementing a new plan.

“In Utah, it will save us money in the long-run because we can extend the life of our landfills,” Mertz said.

The city is also aware of this and is trying to do the best thing for the community.

“Why put it in a landfill when you can reuse it?” Peppler said. “Landfills are expensive and nobody wants to have one in their back yard. It’s just the right thing to do and so we are trying to promote it.”







Print Friendly, PDF & Email