ST. GEORGE – The Washington County Solid Waste Board voted Monday to start negotiations with local company Dixie Waste Services as the next step toward a countywide recycling program.
The Solid Waste District is looking at implementing a curbside recycling program at a cost of under $4 a month to county residents who choose to utilize the service.
The county had been considering curbside recycling bids from Republic Services and Dixie Waste Services. At Monday’s special meeting of the Solid Waste Board, Dixie Waste Services was chosen over Republic Services in a decision that was hotly debated during the meeting, requiring two roll-call votes to achieve.
“This is going to give us that chance to prove ourselves as a company that can boost the economy,” Dixie Waste Services Consultant Kathleen Peterson said. “We do believe that a local business does contribute to the local economy, and so we’re proud of that fact, and I’m really excited.”
“We want to be flexible, because we understand that every community has a different demographic,” Peterson went on to say. “We’re in a position to invest in making this process move along.”
The 22-member Solid Waste Board is comprised of one representative from each municipality within the county, with the exception of St. George, which has six members on the board due to its population. The county also holds two seats on the board.
The next step in the process will be more specific discussions with Dixie Waste Services and the communities in the county.
“First, we have to find out from the cities what the participation will be,” Solid Waste Board Chairman Michael Heaton said.
Heaton said he believes St. George will be the first city to implement the program and that it’s likely the service will become available one city at a time.
“We will start discussing with Dixie Waste what different cities want and see how flexible they are with their pricing and so forth,” Washington County Solid Waste District Manager Neil Schwendiman said. That information will then be given back to the cities.
“So, there are still a lot of unknowns that we have to work out,” he said.
While several residents showed up to the meeting in hopes of expressing their opinions, the meeting was not a public hearing; rather, it was a special board meeting with one item on the agenda: selecting a contractor to begin working with.
City and county residents will have ample opportunity to comment on curbside recycling as the process progresses and more specific proposals are sent back to the municipalities for approval, Schwendiman said.
Solid Waste Board Attorney Fay Reber echoed the sentiment.
“There’s going to be opportunity for comment at several different levels,” Reber said.
Comment opportunities will include with the Solid Waste Board and at the city level, he said.
“You will be able to voice your concerns through your city council, and they are the ones that will be authorizing the entry into the contract with the district for the service,” Reber said.
Opt in, opt out
During the meeting, representatives from each community were asked to tell the board their city’s choice of three possible opt-out plans. The first option provides residents with a one-time chance to opt out over a 60- to 90-day period. The second option is similar but would allow individuals a second opportunity to opt out of the program if they move into a new home. A third option gives residents an annual opportunity to opt out.
Hurricane City favored the first option, while Ivins, Santa Clara and Springdale are planning to implement mandatory recycling. New Harmony prefers the first option, while LaVerkin and Apple Valley plan to opt out of the entire recycling program. The remaining municipalities expressed support for the second option.
*Ed. note: Corrected to reflect New Harmony’s choice of options.
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