A new drop-off recycling program began Wednesday in Cedar City, providing residents five locations to recycle paper, plastic, metal and glass.
Cedar City is partnering with Washington County Solid Waste District and PURE Recycling to begin this alternative to curbside recycling.
City Councilor Nina Barnes said when she began campaigning five years ago, recycling was a critical part of her platform. Cedar City had few options regarding recycling, Barnes said.
“To see where Cedar City and SUU have come is really exciting,” she said. “I’m excited to have something we can offer and see it grow into a full-fledged recycling program.”
In 2008, the program was implemented in Washington County, Southern Utah Recycling Coalition Board Member Ray Inkel said.
The system provides the option for citizens to recycle, but doesn’t force it, like curbside recycling might, Inkel said.
However, Ron Adams, Cedar City Councilor, said curbside recycling is a hope for the future.
“I think this is a great start to get people in the frame of mind to begin recycling,” he said. “It is our hope that it will grow and we can have curb recycling in the future.”
The bins offer a uniform, affordable and organized way for residents to recycle, Barnes said, and are just “baby steps” towards a more advanced curbside recycling system.
One of the five bins is located on SUU’s campus, which Pete Heilgeist, SUU purchasing director, said is a great step taken by the community to promote recycling and will be a benefit to both the community and campus.
“Placing the bins on campus reflects the university’s commitment to being environmentally aware and (being) a leader in the community for sustainability issues,” he said. “We’re hoping this leads to more involved programs, such as curb-side service.”
SUU’s Surplus Property and Recycling Coordinator Chad Thomas said the bins are a sign of Cedar City moving in the right direction.
Thomas said the bins are an example of a working democratic republic.
“The people voice their concerns and elected officials do the will of the people,” he said. “The mayor and city council should be commended for their efforts.”
Adams said the program began through efforts taken by Mayor Joe Burgess and Barnes.
Students have shown the desire to recycle, Barnes said, which is why one of the five bins was placed on campus.
Thomas said it’s “all about supply and demand.”
Students must utilize the current recycling resources and if there is a larger demand, it will be taken care of, he said.
Adams said the programs are a great start to get people in the frame of mind to recycle
Each site has bins for paper, plastic, metal and glass. These items will be collected each Wednesday, or as need requires, Barnes said.
There are also plans to teach elementary, middle and high school students about recycling, Adams said.
The program helps local businesses including Pure Recycling and Robinson Recycling as well, Inkel said.
Recycling, he said, is just one step in the process.
“We must first remember to reduce, reuse and then recycle,” he said.