According to the Recycling Coalition of Utah, Americans represent five percent of the world’s population but generate 30 percent of the world’s garbage, half of which could be recycled.
Provo City will begin a new opt-out recycling program, replacing the current opt-in program, on Nov. 1. The new program seeks to increase the number of Provo City residents participating in recycling.
Scott Peppler, deputy public works director, explained why Provo residents should be participating.
“Recycling is not only good for the environment, it also saves the city money by extending the life of our landfill and decreasing the tipping fees we pay to dispose of waste,” he said in a news release.
Provo uses a single-stream system so residents are not required to sort their recyclables.
Provo City spokeswoman Helen Anderson said students often ask why there is no recycling at their apartment complex. Currently, Provo city recycling is limited to single family or duplex homes. Apartment complexes have to contract separately for garbage and recycling.
“We’ve tried to brainstorm the best way to encourage apartment owners to pay for recycling services,but there’s been no perfect solution yet,” she said. “Students need to let their landlord know there is a demand for recycling, ask about it, or find an apartment that does recycle and choose that over those that don’t. Show that there is a demand.”
According to Anderson, current participation in Provo City is about 24 percent, but the opt-out program will likely cause a large increase in participation.
“A lot of residents would like to, but never have gotten around to signing up for it,” she said. “Most times, those who do sign up for it they find that they like it. Some residents are asking how soon we can expand it to an every week pickup, but it’s not quite there yet.”
Anderson said Provo residents should be recycling because it is convenient and affordable.
The cost for residents if they do not opt-out will be $4.75 per month. Those who participate in the blue can or the city’s yard waste recycling program will pay $2 less for garbage removal, which will be $14.50 per month.
Those who do not opt-out of the recycling program will get blue cans in October, and charges will begin Nov. 1.
Residential garbage service customers not already participating in the program will be automatically enrolled on Nov. 1 unless they opt-out by Aug. 7. Residents can opt-out by calling 801-852-6000 or visiting optout.provo.org.