Although plenty of space remains at the Salt Lake City/County Landfill, officials want to take steps now to make sure area residents don't end up with a garbage crisis.
Salt Lake County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi said Tuesday he wants to create a recycling office and begin other efforts to encourage people to recycle. Those efforts may include lobbying state lawmakers for a bill that would require deposits on all bottles."People spend hours looking for aluminum cans because they know they can get money for them," he said. "I haven't thrown a can away in years. If you put returnable deposits on bottles, you'll get people going out every day looking for bottles."
Horiuchi also hinted the county may begin a pilot curbside recycling program, starting with limited areas. But a permanent, countywide curbside service would take a lot of taxpayer money, he said.
West Valley City is preparing to start a voluntary curbside program that will be the state's largest.
For $3 per month, participants in West Valley's "Recycle America" program will get an 18-gallon storage bin; a twice-monthly pickup of recyclable paper, aluminum and tin; and a financial payback to the community.
About 10,000 households are receiving service-request forms this month from Waste Management of Salt Lake, the company that handles West Valley's regular garbage collection.
Residents will throw all recylables into one bin, and Waste Management officials will sort it.
Joyce Leach, the landfill's recycling coordinator, said she is pleased with Horiuchi's ideas. She said valley residents have had little incentive to recycle, considering the landfill has 20 years capacity left and dumping fees are low.
"But if we've got 20 years capacity, we make that 40 or 100 years," she said.