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South Valley Riverton Journal

To recycle or not? That is among the questions of Riverton’s next waste contract

Dec 02, 2022 03:14PM ● By Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Riverton’s potential next contract for hauling its waste could increase almost $200,000.

Craig Calvert, the city’s contract administrator and purchasing manager, reported the number to the Riverton City Council in October as the city prepares for its next municipal waste contract that’s due to end in June of next year.

City officials are recommending the city contract with Waste Management after it came in with the lowest responsible bid by almost $700,000. Part of the reason for the significantly lower bids, officials said, is because the city owns its own cans.

But the contract will still increase, which officials say isn’t due to the portion with Waste Management—which went down—but because of recycling.

The cost of recycling, Calvert said, is going up $144,000. “We could eliminate recycling,” Calvert responded when asked about the possibility, “but that’s your call.”

That number, Councilmember Troy McDougal said, is “really the question.”

McDougal, who serves on the Trans-Jordan board of directors, noted recycling is the “biggest bite” on the contract.

“There are no foreign markets for it and the local markets are incredibly expensive to get the recyclables to a state we can actually use them,” he said.

If the city decides to include recycling, Calvert said the contract will need to include language about what to do with residents who contaminate the recycling or continually overload waste cans, which causes additional hauling charges.

He said Waste Management intends to roll out smart trucks with cameras that can identify what’s in the recycling load.

Officials pointed out that if recycling isn’t included, it could increase the problem with people then possibly overloading their single can or paying for a second garbage can that could increase landfill costs.

Mayor Trent Staggs noted the intent to contract with Waste Management, but added city officials need to decide “what type of recycling effort this city is going to promote going forward?”

Officials decided to hold off on the decision until after touring facilities to see how the smart trucks work.  In the meantime, staff will work on the contract to then be brought back before the council.