Due to decreases in the rates for cardboard recycling, the Logan Environmental Department is discontinuing cardboard drop sites throughout the valley.
“Before, we had revenue from collecting cardboard, so that covered the cost of collection. We were able to offer free cardboard recycling for all of our commercial customers and also operate these drop sites,” said Emily Malik, the conservation coordinator for the city.
Malik said prices in the cardboard market have always fluctuated, but that over the past few months they dropped to zero. Because there is no recycling revenue, the city can no longer offset the cost of collection.
The cardboard bins in Nibley, Hyrum and Providence have already been removed. The ones in Smithfield and Richmond be will be removed in the coming weeks. Residents can still drop cardboard off for recycling at the Logan transfer station, 53 N. 1400 West, or put it in their curbside bins.
Commercial customers will now be charged for cardboard recycling.
“What we don’t want to see is customers putting it in businesses’ cardboard dumpsters at this point, just because those are a fee service now,” Malik said.
Because so much is changing in the recycling industry, Malik said it is hard to know what cardboard recycling may look like in the future. For example, she said there are plans for a paper box mill to open by 2022 in Salt Lake City, which may create more demand for cardboard.
“There are a lot of different things that are on the horizon in the recycling industry,” Malik said.
This is the second change Logan city has made to its recycling program this year. In the spring, they stopped recycling plastics 3-7.
In the past, Malik said the attitude with recycling seemed to be quantity over quality. Moving forward, she thinks that is likely to flip. She also said it is possible the changes could lead to pressure being put on manufacturers to stop producing certain types of packing.