Salt Lake City seeking feedback on waste, recycling services

The Salt Lake City and County Building. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 12, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City is currently seeking resident input on curbside waste and recycling services, as well as feedback on a proposed fee increase for those services.

An online survey is currently open here where residents can learn more and submit their feedback, said a news release from the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

“Waste collection is a core municipal function and service to our residents,” said Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett. “It’s also fundamental to our overall sustainability goals as a city. We’re really looking forward to hearing from as many people as possible. We’d like to know what residents are happy or not happy with; what ideas they have; and how they’d like to see fees spread out over the next five years.”

Salt Lake City’s Waste and Recycling Division provides weekly curbside collection of garbage, recycling, and compost to approximately 42,000 residences in the city, primarily single-family, duplex, and triplex homes, the news release said. Most business and larger multi-family properties use private waste haulers.

As an Enterprise Fund, the city’s waste and recycling efforts are completely supported by resident paid refuse fees, which cannot be used for any other city services.

Because of rising equipment, operations, and recycling costs, the city is looking to raise fees slightly over the next several years, the news release said. The city has not raised refuse fees in the last five years.

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Currently, residents may choose from three garbage can sizes: 90-gallon for $21 per month, 60-gallon for $17.75 per month, and 40-gallon for $13.75. The recycling container and compost (aka “yard waste” or “green waste”) container are included without additional charge. Fees also support the bulk item collection program, currently known as Call 2 Haul.

“Over the next month, residents will hear about this survey through mailers, notices on their waste cans, and through our city information platforms,” said Bennett. “We are hoping for a huge response.”

In addition to the online survey, the city’s Sustainability Department is conducting additional in-person outreach to capture feedback from populations and areas of the city that may have lower response rates. The feedback will be compiled in early 2020 and inform the Mayor’s annual budget. It will then be presented to the City Council during the normal budgeting process in the spring. If approved, fee increases may begin in July 2020.

In the last fiscal year, the Waste & Recycling Division collected 68,994 tons of material from Salt Lake City residences; the equivalent weight of 34,500 cars. Approximately 37% of that waste was diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting.

For more information, visit the project page here.

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