Recycling Market Down, But Still 'Viable Option'
House Representative Val Potter said recycling in the state of Utah is down because there is “no market for recycling”. But according to Emily Malik, the conservation coordinator for Logan City’s Environmental Department, Cache County’s numbers are up despite the market’s fluctuations.
“We have about a 75-80% set out rate for our cans,” Malik said.
In fact, she said there hasn’t been much of a difference in recycling participation since the county stopped accepting plastics 3 through 7 in 2019.
“When we've gone out to areas to look, we've kind of said, Okay, how full is that, you know, a quarter, a half, three quarters?" she said. "So when we're looking at cans for contamination, as part of an education campaign, that's the kind of times when we might look, and the average was about 75% full. And we range from ones that have nothing in them, hardly, to the ones that are overflowing onto the ground.”
Malik said one of the biggest misperceptions about the local recycling program is the thought that the city doesn’t recycle cardboard anymore since all of the drop-sites in the country were removed — except for the one at the landfill processing site.
“And that's just not true. You can still put it in your blue container," Malik said. "If you have things that are too large, we have the overflow bins at the transfer station. We are still recycling those. Recycling still is a viable option in Cache County.”
According to Malik, when the cardboard dumpsters were available for public use, the city was paying about $5 per ton for a service to pick up the discarded cardboard. Now, Mountain Fiber Insulation, Inc. is paying $8 per ton of curbside recycling materials from Cache County.
Logan City provides a list of accepted and not accepted items for recyling in Cache County here.