How to get rid of stuff?

Provo Recycling

The simple truth of trash talk is that we Americans generate a lot of garbage. We represent only five percent of the world’s population yet we generate 30 percent of the total amount of the world’s garbage. So what can we do with all of the trash we produce?

I’ve put together a helpful list that will hopefully answer your questions about where you can recycle glass, large items, batteries, household waste, yard waste, etc. If you notice anything missing from this list, please let me know by leaving a comment.

How do I dispose of Large Items?

If it can be recycled
Large bulky items like cardboard boxes can be broken down to fit into a curbside household recycling (blue) can. If you are not enrolled in the curbside recycling program, you can take the items to one of these drop-off recycling sites in Provo:
  • SUVSWD compost station, 1625 S. Industrial Parkway
  • Kiwanis Park, 820 N. 1100 East
  • Fort Utah Park, 200 N. Geneva Rd.
  • Western Metals, 1776 S. Colorado Ave
There is no charge to use the bins at these sites. The bins are separated into sections for plastic, paper/cardboard, and metals. For compost station hours, please call the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District at 801-489-3027, or visit the compost page on its website.
Drop Off Recycling
Not Recyclable 

For things that can’t be recycled, every spring and autumn (April & September) the city provides free dumpsters to help residents get rid of any clutter in their homes. Provo residents can dispose of trash, yard waste, and metals free of charge using these city dumpsters. Dumpster locations are always announced each year in the the March and August Newsletter and on my blog.

Dumpster Rentals

Do you have a special project at your house that you need a dumpster for? Provo City Sanitation offers rental dumpsters at a great price. If you have extra garbage or need a special pickup of large items but don’t really need a dumpster, this can be arranged for at a reasonable charge.

For all your solid waste disposal needs simply dial 3-1-1 or (801) 852-6000 if you are out of the area, or visit Customer Service online.

How do I recycle Glass?

Covey Center Parking Lot

You asked for it and now you have it. I’m pleased to announce that Provo residents finally have a glass recycling option. Residents can now drop off their glass to be recycled in the southwest corner of the Covey Center parking lot on 500 N and 100 W.

Thank you to our Public Works Department for making this happen and to the Covey Center for accommodating the drop-off location.

Target
Target has recycling kiosks in their stores providing and easy way for residents to recycle glass, cans, plastic bottles, plastic bags, MP3 players, ink cartridges and cell phones right in their local store. The goal of their program is to extend their company recycling efforts, and so far, the program has kept thousands of tons of recycled materials out of landfills.

Recycle Glass

How do i dispose of electronics?

Metal Man Service
Reg McDaniel owner of Metal Man Services will pick up (at no cost) your appliances, swamp coolers, batteries, bikes, BBQs and a very long list of anything metal. 801-687-8787.

Best Buy
Technology is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet and Best Buy offers one of the most comprehensive appliance and electronics recycling programs in the United States. Best Buy accepts most electronics and large appliances, with a few exceptions, and will take them at no charge. Check out their page and select your state for specific recycling program details that apply to you.

Besty Buy Recycle

Target
Target also has recycling kiosks in their for MP3 players, ink cartridges and cellphones.

Simply Mac
Take computers, monitors, TVs, and other electronic waste to Simply Mac’s Annual E-Waste Recycling Event. (Traditionally it has been in April or May at the Provo Towne Centre Mall.) Follow their blog for recycling event updates.

 

How do I dispose of Household waste?

Hazardous Waste Collection Day
The Utah County Health Department hosts a free Household Hazardous Waste Collection day every year (usually in April) at the Provo Towne Center west parking lot. Dispose of burned out fluorescent light bulbs, old lawn fertilizer, pesticides, gasoline, paints, and similar waste. Check out this list to see what you can bring and what you can not bring. For more details, please call: 801-851-7525 or visit www.utahcountyhealth.org/hhw

Habitat for Humanity
You can drop off usable paint, building supplies, metal and operating appliances at Habitat for Humanity. For more information call 801-344-8527 or visit www.habitatuc.org.

South Utah Valley Solid Waste District
Provo residents can dispose of batteries, tires, old electronics, tvs, etc. at the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District transfer station (2450 west 400 south, Springville, Utah 84663) at a discounted rate. See their full list of rates and disposable items on their Fee Page. All loads must be covered or a $4.00 fee will be applied per unit. (tarp, tie downs)

Things you can take to the transfer station: household garbage furniture, yard waste (grass clippings etc.), household hazardous waste (paint, fertilizers, fluorescent bulbs, etc), concrete and other construction debris, tires (have a extra charge), electronics (TV’s, refrigerators, etc./have an extra charge).

If you have any questions about an item you want to dispose of and is not listed on their site call 801-489-3027 ext. 0.

Refrigerator or Freezer Pickup
Old refrigerators and freezers can use two or three times as much energy as a new one. If you have an old, functioning refrigerator or freezer that you can do without, call Provo City and we’ll pick it up and recycle it in an environmentally-friendly way. We’ll also pay you $30 for the privilege! You can’t beat that.

To participate, please click HERE to schedule online or call 1-800-GOT-JUNK(486-5865). For more information visit: switchitprovo.com/refrigerator-pickup.

Recycle Motor Oil
Changing your own motor oil can save you money and time, but in the end, you’re left with the big problem of what to do with the used oil and filter once the job’s complete. Auto parts stores like O’Reilly Auto Parts and AutoZone makes it easy to do your part to protect the environment.

Just bring in your used oil and filter to Provo’s O’Reilly Auto Parts on 197 N 500 W  or Provo’s AutoZone on 333 S 600 E or on 1475 N State St and they will recycle them for you free of charge!

 

How do I dispose of Medication?

Provo Police Department 
There are several types of formal collection options but the Provo’s permanent collection site is at the Provo Police Department (48 South 300 West, Provo, UT 84601). The Police Department is open 24 hours/day, every day of the year. Call 801-852-6279 for questions or more information. 

In addition, special take-back medication collection events are also held across the state, which are often referred to as “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet” or “Household Hazardous Waste Collection.” You can safely dispose of your medications at Provo’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection day held in April at the Provo Towne Center west parking lot. Local law enforcement and prevention specialists are present at these events to help answer questions and concerns.

For more information about safe disposal and drop off locations visit, http://www.useonlyasdirected.org

 

HOW DO I GET RID OF LEAVES?

Leaves in gutters can clog storm drains and cause flooding problems. As a result, the city has a crew that cleans the leaves out of gutters. Our staff doesn’t have the capacity to remove all the leaves from all the gutters so we ask for help from our residents not to put leaves in the gutters.

Each year the City offers free bags and leaf bag pick up during the the month of November. However, since many homes in the city have trees that will not drop all of their leaves until there is a snow fall, we typically continue to pick them up through December or until the snow becomes too deep to see the bags.

Leaf bags are normally available during the six weeks of the fall clean up at the Public Works office and at the City Center Customer Service desk.

 

 

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  1. Aaron Skabelund

    Mayor Curtis, Thanks for posting. I have been saving our glass but not sure where to recycle it so this is welcome information. Would it be possible to have this blogpost posted on the city website if it is not there already? Putting some of this might be useful to put in the monthly utility bill too (?)

    1. John

      Hey Aaron, I’m glad that this post was helpful. Thank you for the suggestion, we will be sure to include the information on the website and newsletter too.

      1. Dana Bourgerie

        I went to Target recently and was told they no longer take glass. Is there somewhere else to recycle it?

  2. Allison

    Thank you so much!! I’ve been wanting to recycle glass, but couldn’t find anywhere closer than St George for deposit (two years ago when we moved here). We’ll happily take it to Taeget!

    1. Allison

      Sorry, that should have read “Target”

  3. Bruce McKay

    Is there anywhere to recycle broken cement? It is the one thing that seems to end up staying around the house that I don’t know how to get rid of.

    1. John

      Hi Bruce, you can get rid of cement by taking it at the South Utah Valley Solid Waste District in Springville. You can find more details and contact information in my blog post.

  4. Ann

    Where and how do you dispose of an old mattress?

    1. John

      Ann – Have you explored the option of taking your mattress to the dump and getting rid of it there?

      -John

  5. Virginia

    How about old furniture?

    1. John

      Virginia – Right now there aren’t any real solutions for old furniture other than taking them to the dump.

      -John

      1. Char

        If still useable…how about a thrift store?

    1. John

      Roger – We’re working on a solution for glass.

      -John

  6. Deborah

    What about recycling batteries? Does anyone know where?

  7. Steve

    Western Metals, 1776 S. Colorado Ave, will pay you for your old, wet-cell lead (car) batteries.

  8. Rachael

    Wow, been wishing for a place to recycle glass for years! Watch out Target, here we come. Would be awesome if we could get a glass bin in Provo though. I don’t go to Target very often, kind of far away.

  9. All park dumpsters have printed on their dumpster that they will take paper, cardboard, plastic. It does not say metal and a sign states you can be fined if leaving unwanted material. So, can we put metal in these park dumpsters or not? If so, it ought to state that. We try our best to recycle and so glad to know where we can take glass. Thanks for this informative article.

  10. Heather

    Any thoughts on where we can recycle now-empty propane canisters from an outdoor grill?

    1. John

      Heather – I don’t recall any place other than South County Waste. Sorry.

      -John

    2. kate

      You can trade them in for new canisters at a discount price or ask if you can just leave the empty canisters. Most gas stations have propane tank exchanges.

  11. Jason

    What is the best way to recycle a broken Microwave?

    1. John

      Hi Jason,

      South Utah Valley Solid Waste District transfer station (2450 west 400 south, Springville, Utah 84663) will take appliances – they try to recycle everything they can.

      1. Dana Bourgerie

        The Habitat for Humanity Restore in Orem took mine.

  12. Deb

    Where can we dispose of/recycle wall-to-wall carpet that we are removing?

    1. John

      Hi Deb,

      South Utah Valley Solid Waste District transfer station (2450 west 400 south, Springville, Utah 84663) will take your carpet.

  13. Pam

    The Mending Shed, 1735 S. State St., Orem, can recycle some appliances for parts.

  14. Ivani Cabral

    Hi Mayor Curtis! Thanks for letting us talk with you ! I would like to know where to dispose cooking oil. I have some at home and have no idea where to through it without contaminating the rivers. Thank you!

    1. I don’t know of any place locally within Utah County but there are places up in Salt Lake County that take it; i don’t have the info readily available; use a search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo to find one. Hope that helps. P.S. yeah, need to find a place within the city or locally!

      1. Ivani Cabral

        Thanks you for your answer, Roger . I’ll try to find in SLC then. In Provo I didn’t find anything up to now.

    2. Stargirl

      Cooking oil can go to Recycle Utah in Park City.

  15. Charlene

    Is there a place where you can have paper shredded before recycling. I have old personal files that I would like to shred before disposing.

  16. meghan

    I apologize for being repetitive since this question was already asked – but it was never answered, so here goes:
    The text reminds us of the drop-off recycling sites in Provo and states: The bins are separated into sections for plastic, paper/cardboard, and metals. Then in the picture directly below this statement is a city recycling bin and it is clearly separated into: clean paper, plastics #1 & #2, and cardboard. I frequent the compost station off of Industrial Parkway and would love to be able to recycle my aluminum and tin cans, are these recycling bins mislabeled? and will metal be accepted in them? Thank you.

    1. John

      Hi Meghan,

      Yes you can drop your metals at these locations. There is a separate dumpster for metal – it is labeled and separate to make sure it does not get contaminated with other materials.

      1. sue

        At the Geneva Rd. location there is NOT a bin for metals that I can find.

      2. John

        Thanks Sue. I will check on this.

  17. So useful information in this post! I am going to renovate my kitchen and I am sure that there will be a lot of things which I should throw in the garbage. Thank you for sharing these details!

  18. MaryAnn Miller

    Thanks for all the comments! It really makes me want to do better, when I know where to take things. This is kind of an odd question. Where would you dispose of old textbooks? The paper recyclers I have contacted do not want them. I don’t know if it is because of the cardboard covers or what, but they don’t want them. Any ideas?

    1. John

      Hi MaryAnn, books are hard to recycle because of the adhesives used to bind them. Hardcover books can be included in your paper recycling after the inside pages are cut or ripped out. You can also donate your books to the D.I.

    2. Charlene

      Deseret Industries is the best place. They send them to other countries and are re-used.

  19. Pam

    “[Americans] represent only five percent of the world’s population yet we generate 30 percent of the total amount of the world’s garbage.” This statement defies logic. The US has probably the most vibrant economy and advanced culture in the world (I won’t get into politics). Many countries remain in poverty because they don’t have the stuff we do–or the opportunity to make it. Some use everything they have just to survive. Just sayin’.

  20. lacey

    What about clothing that is not in good condition?

    1. John

      Hi Lacey,

      Donate Stuff allows you to donate your fabric by mail. You simply request the number of pre-paid UPS bags you need to be sent to you, fill them, and drop them off at your nearest UPS. Just be sure it’s clean and dry! https://donatestuff.com/about/

  21. I didn’t know you could rent big dumpsters like your see at construction sites. My husband and I are planning on expanding our garage and I’m sure we will generate a lot of waste in the process. Renting a dumpster sounds like the easiest way to clean as we go.

    1. I actually could really use a small dumpster in the next few weeks. I’m going to be pulling a lot of junk out of my basement as I’m remodeling it, and it’d be nice to just toss everything as I go. Is there a limit to how long you can have a dumpster at your home, or do they just charge you by the day?

      1. John

        Hi McKayla,

        There is no time limit to rent the city’s dumpsters. Here is a list of pricing:

        Delivery/removal – $120.00
        Dump & Return – $85 each time
        Tonnage: $36.00/ton
        Extra charges for tires, tv’s, etc. (things SUVSWD charges us extra for)
        If yard waste only is put in the dumpsters and they are emptied at the compost station, they are only charged for delivery/pickup and dump & returns (no tonnage).

        Dumpster size: 20 cu/yds – 20’ x 8’ x 5’ – We only have this one size

        Hope that helps!

  22. Thanks for sharing these tips! I think that recycling used electronics is a great way to eliminate waste. I didn’t know that Best Buy allows you to recycle these kinds of things in their store. I will have to let my friend know about this, he has an entire room of used stuff he is looking to get rid of. Perhaps he will take advantage of this great resource, he lives close to one of their locations.

  23. In regards to Heather’s question, I’m not sure if this applies to all places that sell propane tanks, but I worked at a place that would exchange empty ones for full tanks at a discount price. I think it’s good motivation to keep people from throwing them away, since that could be very dangerous! Even if they’re empty, that can pose a threat for fires/explosions. I hope this helped!

  24. Ardyth

    I am pleased glass is now recycled locally. I have a question of curiosity: What makes it viable now whereas some years ago it was too expensive to collect and ship to a large glass recycling center?

    1. John

      It still is not a money maker. We’re doing it as a service to the community.

      1. Ardyth

        Thank you.

  25. Sarah

    You may want to add to this list that you can take burned out fluorescent light bulbs to Home Depot to be recycled. Much better than saving them all year for the hazardous waste collection and risking that they’ll get broken.

  26. Thank you for the advice on how to manage waste in Provo! I have a lot of leftover materials from a commercial construction project and I’m not sure what to do with them. I’ve been thinking of hiring a dumpster. Do you know if these companies are able to recycle some of the waste?

  27. Marie

    I was told that curbside leaf disposal requires that the bags are clear. Is that correct or can you put them in black bags for workers to pick up? Also what about in the pick up cans. Can you have plastic bags in them?

    1. John

      Hi Marie,

      The leaf bags don’t have to be clear – just make sure that there is only leaves in your bag.

  28. Kelsie Godwin

    When are the Kiwanis Park recycling bins picked up? Also, is there anywhere to recycle steel/tin cans in the area?

    1. John

      Hi Kelsey, let me check on the pick up time for the Kiwanis Park recycling bins. You can recycle your tin cans in your blue recycling container or Provo’s Spring cleanup is from: March 28 – May 7, 2016. You can take a look at this year’s sanitation schedule here: http://provomayor.com/2015/12/28/2016-sanitation-schedule/

      1. Sarah

        How rinsed off and clean do the cans have to be?
        Some are easy to rinse, like fruit, but others like beans really have to be washed, and since we live in a desert I’m never sure how much water to waste so I can recycle. Sorry but these nitpicky sort of questions aren’t covered in the FAQs and it gives me recycling anxiety 🙂

      2. John

        Hi Sarah,

        You just need to rinse conservatively.

  29. Mary Pletsch

    Where can I recycle VHS or Audio cassettes? Will they go in my regular recycle bin?

  30. Theresa Bird

    I need to get rid of an old/rusty bbq. Any place around that can come and pick it up?

  31. Kathleen Khojaev

    Hi, does anyone know how and where to get rid of rocks? We had to dig up half of the front year to replace a water main and there was a ton a rocks(of all sizes) that got brought up. I don’t think it would be a good idea to put them in the green bin. Any suggestions????

  32. I swear that half the stuff I throw out of my house is all things that can be recycled. It would be nice to have one of these bins in my neighborhood. It’d sure make things easier on my part. Actually, I need to get rid of some plastic boxes soon, maybe I’ll find one of these bins.

  33. Chelsea

    I am looking for a place to recycle old carpeting. Any suggestions?

  34. Michael

    I just took some cardboard and plastic to western metals and they told me that the city took the bins a month ago and hadn’t broad them back. That is it as if Sept 10, 2016. Any plans of bringing them back? The next closest location is kind of fat :-s

  35. Melissa

    Can’t recycle my boxes because the bins in both locations are full. Mr. Mayor maybe since there are only two locations you could do more to make sure that are ready to receive items.

  36. I was looking to know more about waste disposal. It is interesting to learn that large bulky items like cardboard boxes can be broken down to fit into a curbside household recycling can. My mom says that it is a good idea to hire a garbage disposal service if you are undertaking a big project or if you wish to dispose of an excessive amount of junk.

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