Could Smaller Trash Cans Boost Recycling?

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Summit County, Utah is hoping smaller trash bins will promote recycling. Photo: Michael Coté via Flickr

It’s a simple idea. The less space you have, the less space you have to store things.

The county council in Utah’s Summit County is hoping the same principle applies to trash. In an effort to get more people to recycle, the county wants to reduce the size of curbside trash bins and increase the size of recycling bins, a proposal that could benefit everyone.

Recycling brings in money for the area, county manager Bob Jasper told The Park Record. Plus, recycling has the added benefit of keeping Utah’s pristine beauty intact for generations to come. Of course, with change comes opposition. Residents who have grown used to the larger trash bins can pay for a receptacle with more space, Jasper says.

READ: Think 2 Recycling Bins Are a Hassle? Try Sorting 34

The request for proposal (RFP) would shrink bin sizes from 96 gallons to 65 gallons, which officials hope will show residents just how much trash they throw away in a given week. Recycling bins would increase to 95 gallons, leaving plenty of room for the glass, cardboard, newspaper and other recyclables that could otherwise find their way to the trash.

The RFP also includes an expansion of recycling programs to rural areas of the county, including curbside pickup and more drop-sites for recyclables.

“We want everyone to have more access to recycling,” Jasper told The Park Record. “We want to bring curbside recycling to the smaller cities and have large recycling drop-off areas for the rural areas. The potential carriers that have seen our RFP so far seem to like it.”

READ: Madison, Wis. to Recycle Plastic Bags Curbside

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