Aztec will ponder mandatory curbside recycling

Aztec residents encouraged to attend meeting and offer input about possibility of curbside recycling

Hannah Grover,

FARMINGTON — As the city of Aztec considers a new contract for trash collection, commissioners will have to choose whether to add curbside recycling.

Bill Peterson deposit his recyclable materials Thursday at the Aztec recycling center.

City Manager Joshua Ray announced the possibility of curbside recycling during a the city manager report portion of the Jan. 10 City Commission meeting. He said there will be a workshop on that subject before the next commission meeting on Jan. 24 to discuss the city's utilities. The workshop will be followed by the regular commission meeting at 6 p.m.

"We would encourage as many people as you can think of who want to comment about curbside recycling to be involved at the workshop," he said.

The city has contracted with Transit Waste for trash services in the past. It is now in the process of drafting a new contract for trash services.

If Aztec does add curbside recycling, it would increase the amount each utility customer pays. If the city makes curbside recycling part of each customer's account, it would mean an additional $3.69 monthly for every account.

Tin cans sit inside a recycling bin Thursday at the Aztec recycling center.

Aztec residents currently pay $10.39 for trash service if they have a single trash cart, according to the city website. Residents with two carts pay an additional $3.04. Those rates could change under the new contract.

The city also may choose to let customers opt in to curbside recycling. Ray told commissioners that the price for curbside recycling will go up if fewer people participate.

One reason it is more expensive to include curbside recycling is that the truck that picks up trash cannot be the same one that picks up the recycling, he said.

Mayor Sally Burbridge asked Ray what would happen to the city-run recycling center on Ash Street if the commission approves curbside recycling. Ray said the center likely would be closed.

A paper recycling bin is pictured Thursday at the Aztec recycling center, which City Manager Joshua Ray says likely would close if the City Commission votes to add curbsite recycling to its trash-collection contract.

The recycling center on Ash Street, which is open every day but Monday, accepts newspaper, magazines, junk mail, brown paper bags, corrugated cardboard, white office paper, some plastics, aluminum cans, aluminum foil, tin and steel cans.​ Glass recycling at the center was suspended in 2012, according to The Daily Times archives. Glass will not be accepted through curbside recycling, Ray said. He said the recycling carts will have lists on the top of what can be recycled.

"We really just need to feel the pulse of the community to see if people are interested," Ray said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.