By Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern
(Originally published on the Utah Clean Cities blog. We thank them for helping support this initiative!)
The Salt Lake City Compliance Division has a colorful, new addition to their Parking Enforcement fleet. Four all-electric Chevrolet Bolts have replaced old JEEP Wranglers to deliver financial savings and notable pollution reductions.
Salt Lake City’s new all-electric Chevy Bolts help the City reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and meet our Climate Positive goals.
“It’s important that we lead by example and demonstrate how electric vehicles offer a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to gas-powered cars,” stated Greg Fieseler, Compliance Division Field Supervisor. “The electric cars are fun to drive too!”
Greg acknowledged there was initially some skepticism among staff that the new EVs would prove viable as fleet vehicles. That skepticism has been replaced by enthusiasm as the electric cars are now “the preferred choice” for most employees.
Compliance has been able to seamlessly integrate these vehicles without any modifications to routes or other significant operational changes. Even with 90 degree-plus heat throughout July and the A/C running for most of the day, the 200-plus mile range of the Bolts has allowed officers to complete their daily routes with energy to spare. Read more
You may have seen the new Bird and Lime electric scooters on Salt Lake City streets the past few weeks.
Salt Lake City granted the two companies a temporary operating agreement while a full ordinance is crafted.
The City’s Transportation Division would like to hear from you! Please participate in this survey to share your thoughts and concerns on the scooters. This feedback will help the City craft a thoughtful ordinance.
Have you ridden the scooters? What do you think?
For more information
- Bird and Lime descent on Salt Lake City (Deseret News)
- Check out the Salt Lake Tribune’s fun write-up of putting various modes of transportation to the test.
Urban Heat Islands Increase the Effects of Climate Change
by Emily Seang, SLCgreen intern
On a hot summer day, it feels like heat is coming from everywhere and anything.
We’ve had a lot of those days lately. In fact, July of 2018 was the fifth hottest on record (July 2017 was the hottest!)
The National Weather Service, Salt Lake City office, has calculated our July 2018 temperatures as being the fifth warmest on record.
There’s no question that temperatures are climbing as a result of climate change.
In cities, however, there’s also another factor at work. Read more
by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern
The spring and summer months are the perfect time to barbecue and picnic. Which means delicious fruits and veggies. Because let’s be honest, no picnic is complete without a scrumptious apple or pear. Unfortunately, our tasty produce is also a common source of consuming harmful chemicals from pesticide residue.
Fruits and vegetables that are grown conventionally are often exposed to many pesticides before they are shipped to our local grocery stores.
Luckily there are effective and natural alternatives to reduce the amount of chemicals we ingest. Join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep our bodies, yards, and ecosystems healthy, happy, and safe by going pesticide free!
by Nayethzi Hernandez, SLCgreen intern, and Sophia Nicholas
With all the news of recycling markets changing, as we discussed in our previous post, it’s more important than ever to practice Reducing, Reusing, Refusing (single-use products) and Recycling Right.
So it’s worth thinking about how we as consumers can make a difference and shift our habits to consume different products with less packaging and more recycling-friendly materials.
That’s why we’re excited to talk about glass!
Glass bottles ready to be turned into something new!
In Utah, we’re fortunate to have a local glass recycling facility, Momentum Recycling. In Salt Lake City, you can participate by signing up for curbside pickup! You can also take your glass to a convenient drop-off location.
With nearly 5,600 subscribed households, 78 active drop-off areas, and dozens of businesses participating in glass recycling, the Salt Lake City community is already headed in a very sustainable direction. Read more
You may have heard that much is changing in the recycling world these days. For the last couple decades, China has accepted the majority of the world’s recycled materials– whether that’s plastic, paper, cardboard, or metal.
Our recycling programs evolved over that time to encourage more and more recycling of more and more items, with not so much attention focused on “contamination.” Contamination means that there are items in the recycling load that shouldn’t be there (like garbage or leaves or shoes or hoses . . . you get the picture). It can also mean that otherwise recyclable items are dirty and therefore unusable (oily pizza boxes for example).
Meanwhile, our society has continued to progress towards more packaging, more disposables, and more single-use items.
There’s a lot of recycled material being processed every day in Salt Lake City! Help us minimize contamination by only putting accepted items into your blue container.
Globally, we produce upward of 448 million tons of plastic each year, 40% of which is destined only to be used one time. What?!?!
But if we threw those plastic plates or cups in the recycling, that was okay, right? Throwing something in the recycling bin became the equivalent of not even using it in the first place!
But now China has effectively stopped accepting the world’s recycling and the U.S. is left with a lot of material and a system that isn’t designed to deal with newer, stricter materials standards.
Municipalities across the country are grappling with what to do. Some have had to drastically amend their recycling programs or cancel them. (See also “What the Chinese import policies mean for all 50 states”)
In Salt Lake City, disruption of our recycling program has so far been minimal. Read more
by Talula Pontuti, SLCgreen intern
For weeks, we have experienced wildfires across the state, primarily in the southern part of Utah, where firefighters are fighting tirelessly to protect communities and landscapes.
Those fires have not only destroyed homes, habitats, and landscapes, but the fires are contributing to poor air quality in those areas and throughout Utah.
In addition, fireworks from the Fourth of July increase particulate matter, aggravating respiratory conditions for those with preexisting respiratory and heart illnesses, such as asthma and heart disease.
Combine the fires and fireworks with ozone created by vehicle and product pollution – and we have the perfect mix for poor air quality.
Understanding what is going on and what our impacts are on air quality in our city is critical to being able to keep people healthy and having fun this summer. Read more