The list of Utah County cities beginning recycling programs just keeps getting larger: Add Spanish Fork to the ranks of Lehi and Orem.
The city recently named Terry Casto as its recycling director and learned that a local recycling company will begin accepting paper, glass and plastic products in addition to the metals it already accepts.Swenson Metal Salvage Inc., 601 N. Main, began accepting paper, glass and plastic products that other companies can recycle as of January, Operations Manager Jay Lamb said.
"We sell the products to people who can process them, such as melting down the plastics, and can then sell them for reuse and make other products out of them."
The business has bins that people can use to discard their recyclable items, though there are some guidelines for materials that Swenson Metals will accept, Lamb said.
"For example, we ask that people wash out their glass and plastic bottles or containers. We're here to help them recycle, not to have the place turn into another landfill."
The company continues to accept metals, such as aluminum beverage cans, paying 1 cent per pound received.
"That's not a lot of money for customers, but by bringing in those materials they're helping the whole Earth out," Lamb said. "We want to encourage people to recycle, but there's not a lot of money in it. I would hope that's not the main reason they're into recycling anyway."
Swenson's efforts are encouraging, especially for a fledgling recycling program like Spanish Fork's, Casto said.
"We're really fortunate, because there's such good timing on other things that are going on, like the closing of the city landfill and with Swenson's taking in recyclables."
Casto is now trying to find members for the city's recycling committee, which would meet with city and business leaders to set up a feasible program, she said.
"I'd like to see us have a program that's long-term, and I hope our citizens will follow this program well and not treat it like a passing fancy."
Casto said she has been in contact with out-of-state agencies, as well as some in states like Washington, to check on the progress of their programs.
"Recycling is kind of new to this state, and especially this county. We're just not used to thinking in this kind of way, and that's unfortunate."
Americans are typically a very greedy society, she said, and that selfish thinking must stop if recycling efforts are to succeed.
"We're a very give-me society, and not a give-back type. We just take, take, take, and that's got to stop. We've just had it so easy for so long, though."
She said that some people have misconceptions that recycling efforts are closely tied with radical environmental groups.
"That's a misconception we'd like to stop. Even if recycling becomes more widespread, there will still be trees cut down. We just can't afford for industries like that to go under."
Also, Casto is working with U.S. Forest Service officials to get educational programs placed within local schools, and in fact, this week could see the first efforts made in that area.
Spanish Fork's program follows in the footsteps of Lehi, which has set up a recycling trailer near its old Memorial Building, and Orem, which has recycling vans located at five sites in the city. Proceeds from the materials Lehi recycles will be used for refurbishing the Memorial Building and its proposed downtown renovation program.
Swenson Metal Salvage Inc., 601 S. Main. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
154 N. Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Orem:(Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; call the city offices, 224-7140, for additional times)
Orchard Elementary School, 1035 N. 800 East
Orem Recreational Center, 580 W. 165 South
Smith's store on Center Street
Macey's grocery store, 1555 N. State
Orem High School, 175 S. 400 East
- Magazines and newspapers, as well as non-brown craft paper newspaper inserts.
- No catalogs or phone books. Remove rubber bands and plastic covers.
- Office or computer paper. Remove paper clips, tape, glue or post-it notes.
- Clear green and brown glass items. Rinse bottles and remove any lids.
- Plastic items such as milk jugs and two-liter soda pop bottles. Rinse the bottles and remove any lids.
- Aluminum beverage cans. Crush to reduce volume.