A recycling program - implemented to reduce the amount of waste going into the county landfill by 95 percent and extend its life 100 years - is going into effect in Davis County.

The three-phase program is beginning immediately and will be phased in over the next few weeks, according to LeGrand Bitter, director of the county's solid-waste management and energy recovery district.Bitter estimates that when fully in place, the recycling effort will reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill north of Layton by 95 percent.

"Our goal is to have no recyclables or combustibles entering the landfill," Bitter said.

Most of the county's garbage, along with some from Morgan County, is hauled to the district burn plant adjacent to the landfill and Hill Air Force Base. The garbage is burned, and steam generated from the operation is sold to the Air Force.

Bitter said the first step in the recycling program is placement of containers in strategic locations in Davis County. The bins will accept glass, aluminum, newspaper and plastics.

"The recycling market pricing will affect which materials will be recycled," said Bitter. Calling the market for recycled materials "soft," Bitter said that aspect of the campaign is one drawback.

"The need for recycling newspaper and plastics isn't as pressing, however, since the district can burn them in its energy recovery facility," said Bitter.

The first phase started last week, with the placing of a bin in the parking lot of the city offices in Clearfield. Bitter said bins will be placed in Kaysville, Fruit Heights, Farmington, Sunset and Morgan.

Bountiful does not belong to the district, so no bins will be placed there.

The second phase of the program involves both the public and private sectors. A waste collection company will be contracted to pick up recyclables at curbside and later sell them.

Details on this phase will be released later as they're worked out, Bitter said.

The third phase entails the building of a material-recovery facility at the burn plant to separate recyclable materials from garbage going into the furnace.

"The combination of the recycling bins, curbside pickups and the material-recovery facility should massively decrease the amount of garbage dumped in the landfill," said Bitter.

"When you consider that 151,000 tons of garbage are currently being collected in the district annually, a decrease of that magnitude is nothing short of earth shaking, not to mention earth saving," Bitter said.

Bitter hopes the program can be instituted at minimal cost to the district, with the Solid Waste Management firm in Ogden building and donating the $2,500 containers.

The district will have to cover the cost of hauling the filled containers, he said, but hopes that costs can be recovered as more markets for recyclables open up.

Bitter hopes recycling becomes profitable beyond repaying the estimated $25 to $50 per bin it will cost to haul the containers. He hopes to use a portion of the proceeds in the future for beautification, more recyling efforts and other environmental issues.