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The Sanpete Messenger

Advocates from Snow stress value of community recycling

Advocates from snow stress value of community recycling

 

James Tilson

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

EPHRAIM—Representatives of the Snow College recycling program addressed the Ephraim City Council last week about the importance of recycling, and how to encourage recycling by Ephraim’s citizens.

According to the visiting recycling advocates, Kamron and Mikaela Finlinson, “America is one of the dirtiest countries in the world because we don’t enforce recycling.”  City Manager Brant Hanson echoed these sentiments, recalling when he was in the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. While there, he observed that local municipalities would not pick up trash at all unless it were pre-sorted into seven different bins.

The Finlinsons told the council that recycling could greatly ease the burden on local governments with trash collection and disposal because 70 percent of all trash is recyclable. They went on to talk about the types of items that Snow College’s facility can recycle.

According to the Finlinsons, there are three types of materials that they can recycle. First is No. 1 and No. 2 plastics. They told the council that the public could look at the bottom of a plastic item and there will be a designation saying what type of plastic is used. The other types of plastic require machinery to recycle that Snow College does not have. However, the Finlinsons pointed out that Walmart will take all “film” plastic (such as plastic bags or plastic wrapping or bubble wrap) for recycling.

Second are paper and cardboard. The couple stated that this category could save municipalities the most space and energy. For example, the Saturday before the meeting, the recycling facility’s entire intake of cardboard was reduced to one bale–that weighed 1,000 pounds.

And third are metals, such as steel and aluminum. These are found mainly in soda drink cans and canned foods and pet foods.

The Finlinsons asked that the public be informed that there are steps they can take to make the process simpler and faster. If the public pre-sorts their recyclables before they come to the facility, then dropping off will only take a minute or two, if not seconds. Once someone has done it once, they usually will able to do it themselves without any assistance. They also said the public should rinse out the recyclables. Leaving waste in the containers increases stench and can gum up the machines.

Councilman John Scott asked if there was grant money available to place recycling bins around the town and educate the public about recycling. Hanson answered that finding money to have some different locations would be “challenging.”

Hanson explained that grant money for recycling is mostly centered on creating new programs, and not enhancing existing programs. He also explained that Snow College is looking to find a new location for its facility, which would give them more room to expand. Hanson thought that it was hopeful that Snow College could find grant money to help with that.

Scott reported that there had been changes to the city’s cemetery ordinance proposed by the cemetery board. Scott said that most of the changes had been made to align the city’s code to state statutes. He shared some of the changes that he thought were important.

One change was that the code was amended so that it was clear that the city was selling “burial rights” and not “property.”

Other changes reflected problems that the city had been having ascertaining the proper owner of burial plots. In recent years, persons have been purchasing a number of plots, without specifying the proper right’s holder. This led to difficulties when the city tried to find out who was responsible for the plot. It also led to dissension among family members after the purchaser died, and the rights of inheritance were unclear.

The changes in the ordinance now direct the purchaser to identify for whom the plot is intended at the time of purchase. It also puts the burden of identifying transfers on the transferee, not the city, and the eventual transferee is also responsible for any unpaid balances on burial fees.

Another change eliminated an option for individuals to dig their own burial hole for cremations. There had been an unfortunate incident where an urn had been buried to just below the ground level, and during routine maintenance mowing the urn had been struck and the ashes released. The city now requires that all burials be under the direction of the cemetery sextant.