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Recycling program may be coming to Morgan City

Apr 18, 2024 11:31AM ● By Linda Peterson

Morgan’s city council is considering instituting a garbage recycling program. On April 9 Nathan Rich, executive director of Municipal Solid Waste which serves Morgan and Davis Counties, presented possible options to the city council.

To reach the agency’s goals and to help extend the life of the Davis County landfill, which at current rates is expected to be at capacity in eight years, Municipal Solid Waste is encouraging the local communities it serves to implement “robust recycling,” Rich said.

“There are two ways to divert waste or to make that landfill last a little longer,” Rich said. “It's not just the life of the Davis landfill because we won't recycle our way out of closing that landfill. It's too close to the end but any waste our system diverts we also won't have to pay to transfer to somebody else's landfill 100 miles from here.” 

About 45 percent of Davis County households have recycling bins, Rich said. “With better education and more of a universal recycling program we believe we can get about 15 percent diversion through the blue can and surprisingly through a completely optional green waste program, we can get another 15 percent. We believe we can approach 30 percent landfill diversion through these two programs over time.”

Whether or not Morgan City decides to implement a recycling program, there is going to be a rate increase. The Municipal Solid Waste board has determined that cities that choose not to implement a program will see a fee increase on residents’ first can, Rich said. 

Municipal Solid Waste is encouraging communities to come on board with a bundled service where residents pay a set monthly fee and receive both a regular garbage can and a recycling can.

“The reason we're really pushing for that bundled service is higher participation drives cost down,” Rich said. “If you have 95 percent of your residents participating, your hauler is going to give you a better price for that recycling can. Effectively the more people we have participate the higher our diversion is going to be.”

While anyone can elect not to have a recycling can, those individuals would still be required to pay the set fee, he said. “If somebody doesn't want a recycling can, we

don't want them to have it because we don't want them fill it full of rocks but they shouldn't get a reduction in their solid waste fees.”

The city can choose to set up a hardship policy and offer reduced fees to those who fit its criteria. 

If it goes forward with a recycling plan, Morgan City will be required to purchase the recycling cans but Municipal Solid Waste has received a grant from the Recycling Partnership which will cover $15 of each can’s cost, Rich said.

For those who already have a private can in Morgan City or the county Municipal Solid Waste has negotiated a program where the current haulers can deliver the new cans and pick up their own cans.

“At the end of the day all the haulers win because there's more cans on the ground,” Rich said.

Implementing these programs could extend the life of the landfill by another decade, he said.

Currently Municipal Solid Waste does not support green waste programs because its composting facility does not have the capacity, Rich said in answer to a question. Municipal Solid Waste may look at it down the road, he said.

Municipal Solid Waste plans to implement this program by July 2025. The fee differential will go into place at that time. λ

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