July 21, 2023 – Introducing the Summit County Curbside Yard Waste Program with Tim Loveday and Ashlee Cawley

Hey everyone and welcome to a special edition of our weekly news podcast, Summit in Six. While we usually try to keep things short around here, today we’re going to have a longer form conversation with Summit County’s Landfill Superintendent, Tim Loveday and Republic Services’ Municipal Contract Administrator, Ashlee Cawley.

Republic Services, in partnership with Summit County, is planning to launch an optional curbside yard waste program in selected locations throughout Summit County in 2024 and Ashlee is here with us to talk more about the yard waste program and what it might look like for Summit County residents next year. 

Tim, can you give our listeners a little background into how the county arrived at this potential yard waste partnership with Republic Services? 

When the County went out RFP for curbside collection services, we asked that potential contractors offer us a separate but integrated proposal to provide opt-in services, of which yard waste was a primary target.  This would assist in diverting waste from the landfills.  Republic offered the potential within the confines of our contract, to work with Spoil to Soil or other subcontractors to meet the County’s requirements.  While this opportunity has been challenging, we are at the threshold of a unique opt-in collection program within the Solid Waste Division and offered through a joint relationship between Summit County, Republic Services and Spoil to Soil.  This effort comes at little cost to the tax payers, relying on funding primarily from those who choose to participate. 

Ashlee, can you give us an overview of what the program will look like? 

For sure! The Summit County Curbside Yard Waste Program is an optional curbside yard waste program Republic Services is planning to offer to selected locations in Summit County in Spring 2024. In order to successfully launch the program, we need 3,500 residences in the selected area to opt into the program. If the minimum number of sign ups are received, participating residents will receive 95-gallon yard waste carts in which they can place residential yard waste. 

How will the yard waste be collected?  

Participating residents will place their carts on the curb for weekly collection – just like your normal trash bins! 

Can commercial businesses that fall within the selected areas opt-in to the program? 

No. This program is for residential yard waste only. Attempted sign-ups from commercial entities and/or landscaping businesses will be rejected.

What areas of the county have been selected? 

The Curbside Yard Waste Pilot Program is only available for selected locations throughout the county. Please visit bit.ly/scyardwastemap and plug your address into the map to see if you’re eligible for the program. 

What if you’re interested in the program, but your address does not fall in the selected areas? 

If your address does not fall in the selected area, but you’re interested in receiving potential yard waste services, select that option on the sign up form. You will then be asked to provide your information for the waitlist. 

Do you have an idea of what the program might cost? 

The cost of service will be an annual fee of $125 for collection from April 1 to October 31, 2024 (with annual increases per the County’s agreement with Republic). Prior to beginning service, participants will also be billed an additional $85 start up and cart delivery fee. The program will only start if the minimum number of residents have signed up. At that time, you will receive a confirmation email that your address will be included in the program with a notification that your bill will be mailed to your address. You will need to pay your bill before a cart will be delivered. Again, you will only be billed for weekly residential yard waste pick-up after we have confirmed 3,500 residences have signed up in the selected area.

How do folks sign up? 

Residents can express their interest in the program by visiting bit.ly/scyardwasteform.

If folks sign up now, but change their mind at the time the confirmation emails are sent out, will they have the chance to opt-out before billing? In other words, is signing up now a commitment to the program? 

Because we need 3500 sign-ups to begin this residential program, we are treating sign-ups as a commitment. We understand that there can be extenuating circumstances, such as a resident moving, financial hardship, etc. We would ask that residents treat this as a commitment when they sign-up on the official page. There is also a county website where residents can sign-up  just to learn more. 

What exactly is yard waste? 

Examples of yard waste include grass clippings, tree limbs, leaves, etc. Yard waste containers should never be used for food, sod, rocks, dirt, non yard-waste organic materials, alternative recyclable materials, and garbage/waste, etc.

Where will the yard waste go? 

We are planning to take the material to Spoil to Soil’s composting farm, in Peoa, Utah. 

Tim, why not the Summit County landfill? 

It’s a simple diversion plan to remove yard waste from the landfill; giving us more air space (ie longer life and lower costs) and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions potential from our landfills.  

Great! Alright those are all the questions I have for you. Is there anything else about this program you want our listeners to be aware of?

This program is a result of requests from our residents.  Its success relies heavily on the expertise of the participating parties and on the participation of Summit County residents.  This is an opportunity for us all to make a difference!

If any resident is interested in the program or they have questions, they can email us at summitcountyyardwaste@republicservices.com. We’ll be happy to hear those questions and provide any necessary information.

If you’re interested in the program, but not quite ready to sign up or join the waitlist, you can also always visit yardwaste.summitcounty.info to sign up to receive more information about the program via email! 

Also you can always follow the County’s social media channels for more information and updates on the program moving forward. Our handles are @summitcountyut on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! 

Ok! Before I let you go, Ashlee, communication between Republic Services and our community is so important! How can people stay in touch with Republic about their regular trash and recycling service? 

Residents can sign up to get phone updates (voicemail or text) regarding their waste and recycling services. If you’re not signed up yet, and you would like to sign up, there are two options: online or via email. If you want a breakdown of how to sign up, please visit summitcounty.org/republicupdates.

That’s all for now on Summit in Six. See you next time!

Tim Loveday has served as the Summit County Solid Waste Superintendent for the last 7 years.  Prior, he served as a professional geologist and environmental consultant to federal, municipal and private sector clients. He has spent over 30 years in the solid waste and environmental management industry.

Ashlee Cawley has worked with Republic Services for three years. Republic Services is the contracted service provider of curbside recycling and waste collection in Summit County for over 20 years.  Ashlee is the municipal contract administrator for the Utah and Page, Arizona area which means she helps oversee their contracts with municipalities, aka, local governments.