Residents are the first in Utah to have curbside recycling, according to Maria Johnson of the Vernal Chamber of Commerce Recycling Committee.
The chamber's Commerce Conservation Committee, Econo Waste and Vernal City are spearheading a two-week countywide recycling program to see if residents will participate in recycling. With favorable participation, the program could be extended.Officials said in the first week, five tons of recyclable material was collected. Half was newspaper; one ton was glass; and the rest was aluminum cans.
The first phase of this project was to educate the community. The majority of the schools in the Uintah School District have been visited. The children were taught where glass, aluminum and newspaper come from, how they are recycled and how various products can be reused.
The second phase is convenience. Jim Gardner, chamber recycling committee chairman, said, "Recycling reduces the amount of garbage going to the landfill. Studies show that 60 percent to 70 percent of the public would recycle if it were convenient; curbside recycling offers this convenience."
The third phase is economics. Many landfills are in violation of EPA standards and are filling up rapidly. Roosevelt City's landfill is full and garbage is having to be trucked to Duchesne's landfill, an approximate 80-mile roundtrip. The recycling committee would like to slow down the rate of saturation of Vernal's landfill.
Vernal City residents will be asked to separate glass, aluminum and newspaper into separate containers for pickup the day after their regular garbage pickup. County residents and businesses can deposit their recyclables at various drop off points on Saturdays. Rick Dayton, owner of Econo Waste is donating the truck, trailer and manpower for this two-week project. After the two-week trial period, the recycling committee will go before the Vernal City Council and ask for a six-month extension and financial support.