BOUNTIFUL — Bountiful residents now have the option of paying for a dedicated can for recycling.

The City Council voted unanimously last week to bring a citywide recycling program to city residents without forcing all 12,250 homes to participate.

Instead, the council decided to help market the program in hopes of convincing at least 10 percent of homes to begin taking recycling cans.

If 10 percent of homes join the program, they can expect to pay $8.13 a month for pickup from Allied Waste every other week.

That's cheaper than the current program about 150 homes subscribe to with Mountain West Recycling for $10 a month.

But the price per home goes down if more homes join the program. At 50 percent participation, the cost would be $5.63 per month, and at 90 percent, it would be $4.63 a month.

In November, Bountiful surveyed residents to get their opinions on the recycling question and 58 percent of those who responded were against a mandatory program while 42 percent were for it.

During Tuesday's council meeting, residents packed into city hall to await the council's decision. Some held signs proclaiming "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," "Help Bountiful Recycle" and "Yes! Scouts recycle."

People who addressed the council all seemed to be in favor of recycling, though many spoke against forcing young families and older residents on fixed incomes to adopt the program.

Ron Mortensen, co-founder of CitizensForTaxFairness

.org, said the city's upcoming budget will make Bountiful residents pay more for power and water, and an extra charge for recycling could become a burden.

"I'm for recycling," he said. "I'm just not for government-coerced recycling."

Once the council voted to adopt the optional program, the room erupted in applause.

The council had also considered implementing a mandatory curbside recycling program for every home, which would have cost $3.01 a month with Waste Management, which runs the recycling program in nearby Woods Cross.

But Councilwoman Beth Holbrook's motion to adopt the Waste Management plan died when no one else supported it.

The Woods Cross City Council voted in April to become the first Davis County city to implement a citywide curbside recycling program for all of its 2,500 homes.

Recycling pickups began in April, and the May was the first time residents were billed an extra $2.50 per month to have recycling, said Woods Cross City Treasurer Maureen Nelson.


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com