Recycling Q&A

Recycling Cans

Blue Recycling Can

When will my recycling can be emptied? 

To convert to weekly recycling, we will start with all drivers doing their black can routes, then returning to the same route to do the blue recycling cans. Later, after everyone gets used to putting their cans out every week and the loads even out, routes and drivers will be adjusted so they share routes.

People need to know that ALL cans need to be out on the curb by 6:00 a.m. – That’s when our drivers start on the routes. It is best to set them out the night before. Also, some people’s routes and days of service have been changed. We used to have 5 big routes each day, and now we have 7 smaller routes, so if people were used to their driver being there at a certain time of day, that has most likely changed.

Look at the city map at maps.provo.org and enter your home address to find which day garbage is collected at your home.

When should I call 311 to report that my can wasn’t emptied? 

At present the regular garbage trucks in each area are the ones collecting recycle. The trucks are running their regular trash routes starting at 6am and when they are done with trash they are returning and picking up recycle until 4pm. On average the recycle routes are starting around 11am. I would suggest waiting until after 12pm to call in trash and after 4pm to call in recycle. We have started to place magnetic placards on the curb side of the trucks to indicate when the trucks are doing recycle, because we had residents calling in saying that their normal garbage truck drove by them and did not pick up their garbage can at 1500 (3pm), this was most likely a recycle truck and they had brought out their trash too late.

Due to confusion and pick up schedules and residents use to different pick up times we have been waving return fees this month and will continue to do so until the end of November. We suggest that your can be placed out the night before so that cans are not missed due to coming out late. We cannot guarantee that routes will always be run in the same manner, we have to periodically make adjustments to routes based up on weather, staffing and truck availability.

Why hasn’t my blue can been picked up? 

We are attempting to pick up the blue containers as fast as possible; we have picked up most of the containers but have approximately 1/3 of the containers yet to remove. To maximize our resources we are picking up area by area on day of service instead of individual houses as requests come in. I know that we have had some complaints come into our customer service department because the cans have been sitting out for a sometime or from residents that have made several requests for removal. We have committed all of the resources to removal of these containers that we are able. We will continue to remove as many as we are able until the cans are removed from the streets. We do ask for some patience and understanding.

I know that the cans are unsightly, and personally annoying. If residents choose to pull them in off the curb on their non-service day, that is perfectly fine, because we try to hit areas on the day of service. We also ask that the cans not be filled with recycle material or trash, because it just makes it harder to remove and makes for more work for our collection crews picking up both cans. If possible we ask that residents place the old can on the green strip off the curb or separate from their other cans so that we can avoid having to dump empty cans when doing our collection routes.

Can/Can’t Recycle

Can I recycle plastic grocery bags? 

Rocky Mountain does allow plastic bags in the recycling cart, though it does significantly raise the cost of recycling and lower the amount of money we are able to get for our material. It also places the city in a significant disadvantage if we want to swap material recyclers to companies like Recycle America who pay higher rates, but require lower contamination and do not accept plastic bags. The plastic bags have a tendency to get stuck in gears of the conveyer belts and can cause significant damage. They also reduce sorting rates and increase labor costs when recycle material is placed inside bags, since each bag has to be manually opened for processing. If you choose to recycle plastic bags make sure you tie and bundle them together.

What can/can’t be put in my blue-lid recycling can? 

The lid of the container has a good list of recyclable materials. Generally speaking: Cardboard except wax coated, heavily soiled cardboard (such as pizza boxes with lots of sauce and pizza stuck to it. Most types of plastic bottles, containers even most waste containers and laundry baskets are recyclable. All kinds of paper good from newspaper to paper bags. All kinds of cans from tin to aluminum are recyclable. Some of the things we find in the bins often that are not recyclable include clothing, foam, Styrofoam, car parts (even metal, due to oil contamination) and wood.

Where can I recycle glass? 

Glass recycling is now available on the South West side of the Covey Center Parking lot on 500 West and 100 South. The bin is divided into clear glass, brown glass and green glass. The glass should be rinsed and have its contents removed. This helps to prevent buildup of foreign material from machinery and equipment. It also helps to keep our city collection location clean and free of debris.

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?

A friendly customer service rep can help you sign up for recycling at 311 or (801) 852-6000.
How much will it cost? 

  • $5.75/month per blue recycling can ($2 automatic discount on black can service)
  • If you have a 2nd black can, switch one out for a recycling can to save $10.75/a month!

Containers                                                         Rate (Year-round)
1 garbage (black) cans                                     $14.50/mo
2 garbage (black ) cans                                    $29.00/mo
1 garbage (black) + 1 (blue) recycling           $18.25/mo

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  1. Mark Werner

    Oops, this is the first time I’ve heard anything about car parts, so I’m one of the guilty parties. In the past, we were encouraged to include any kind of metal, and even small appliances were okay. So now it’s just cans? There probably should be some clarification of this in the official document (http://www.provo.org/home/showdocument?id=116).

  2. Beth

    Do cans need to be cleaned out ? Rinsed?

    1. John

      Hi Beth, the cans don’t necessarily need to be rinsed out but we ask that they’re not filled with recycle material or trash, because it just makes it harder to remove and makes for more work for our collection crews picking up both cans.

  3. Gail Cummings

    we moved here from Beaverton OR 4 years ago and one thing they dis was have trash can for family size. With just my husband ans I living in our it would be nice to have a smaller trash can and a save us money. Something to consider.

  4. Dandy

    We also had the option of a less expensive smaller garbage can in Logan Ut. We take our garbage out to the curb sometimes with only 2 bags of garbage. But we also put our yard waste in it (leafs, grass clipings, and smaller branch sticks) so we save money not having to get a green yard waste can. Love this city and this blog is helpful thanks Mr. Mayor!

  5. Randy Burrell

    In the past we could recycle the shredded paper from our shredders at home as long as it was in a clear plastic bag. I do not see on the new list whether or not this is still able to be recycled.

  6. Bob

    The City’s recycling page says it’s $17.25 per month ($207/year) for black & blue containers, not the $18.25 listed above ($219/year) and on my bill.

    1. John

      Hi Bob, the recycling page still needs to be updated to show the new weekly recycling rates.

  7. William Crandall

    With the change in the compost requirements for lawn care companies not being allowed to dispose their material at the Provo landfill where are they suppose to put their green waste? Are they taking their yard waste to Springville and Lindon and now this material is being put into the regular landfills which will cause the regular landfills to be filled more quickly?

    1. Randy Burrell

      William, I have taken green waste to both stations before. They have you empty in a separate area so it can be composted. There are however fees to dump.

      1. William Crandall

        Would Provo compost consider taking the yard waste from commercial lawn people for a fee?

  8. Bill Rudy

    With the solid waste district ending their composting operations what is going to happen to the Provo yard waste?

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