Rexburg Turns Green

New Recycling Program May Add 80 Student Jobs

POSTED: 03:41 AM MST Feb 09, 2012    UPDATED: 11:03 AM MST Feb 10, 2012 
REXBURG, Idaho -

Curbside recycling may be coming to Rexburg bringing much-needed student jobs thanks to a new partnership between the city and BYU Idaho.

Looking through Rexburg's trash you will find a lot of recyclables. That's because until now the city hasn't found a cost-effective way to offer curbside recycling.

University students like Jordan Graham say it's a shame so much goes to the landfill.

"It was a foreign concept not to recycle when I moved here (from Seattle).? Graham said. ?But it is cool to see how much can be recycled even in one day from on campus let alone from the community."

BYU-Idaho's Recycling Center currently only employs four students for part-time work. With plenty of room to grow, the university approached the city about offering their facilities to recycle more.

"It just seems like a great partnership where we can help the city out with their curbside recycling and hire extra students,? Director of Facilities Management Eric Conrad said.

Over the next few months the university will implement a recycling program for about 200 households to judge its sustainability.

Rexburg currently spends nearly half-a-million dollars burying their trash.

The goal of the program is to cut 30 percent of the city's trash from being added to the county dump.

Mayor Richard Woodland is confident the community will support it.

"This will save us money, there's no doubt about it,? Woodland said.

If the program is implemented the university would create 80 students jobs.

With a growing student population, Graham says they're badly needed.

?For me I needed a job so I could eat,? Graham said. ?It was definitely beneficial for me to get a job especially one that worked with my schedule and stuff."

"Anything we can do to be innovative to add more student jobs is a benefit," university spokesperson Andy Cargal said.

If it proves to be cost effective, curbside recycling will be available throughout the city by the end of the summer and could potentially reduce garbage waste fees.