Check Out our New Trucks!
By Jack Hurty, SLCgreen intern
Salt Lake City’s often under-appreciated workhorses are getting a makeover – and an educational one at that. Six of our recycling trucks recently received a new body wrap, pictured above.
Their visibility is key to educating the public about what can and cannot be recycled.
There have been big changes rocking the recycling world lately and plastic bags are one of the most significant sources of “contamination.”
Besides these bright new wraps, the trucks are state-of-the-art waste management machines.
Not only do they run on low-emission Clean Natural Gas (CNG) and clean diesel, but they are equipped with an on-board trash compactor, an array of cameras, and a mechanical arm to pick up and empty recycling bins.
Every week, these trucks travel to all corners of the city, making sure that our waste is taken care of.
These wraps are a reminder to keep plastic bags and film out of the blue curbside containers, as those items can cause expensive delays and damage to the recycling processing systems.
Plastic film includes all soft, “crushable” plastic—cling wrap, sandwich bags, dry cleaning bags, packaging wrap (i.e. the wrap used around packages of paper towels), air pockets. Please also refrain from “bagging” your recycling as this causes processing problems.
“Make SLC Plastic Free”
The new wraps also encourage us to recognize the power we have as consumers to make SLC “plastic free.”
Although we may not be able to recycle plastic bags in the blue curbside containers, there are other solutions. First and foremost, shop sustainably.
Instead of choosing between paper and plastic, neither of which has a great environmental impact, opt for reusable bags. They’re more durable, fashionable, and most importantly, sustainable.
For the plastic bags already in your possession, we encourage you to find ways to re-purpose them:
- For example, grocery bags can be used as lunch bags, to pick up after your dog, or as liners for small garbage cans.
- Sandwich and zip top bags can be washed out and reused multiple times.
- Otherwise, look for designated plastic bag recycling receptacles in grocery stores, or donate them to organizations, such as Bags to Beds, that “upcycle” them into new products.
In the meantime, Salt Lake City is working with retailers, encouraging more stores to offer dedicated plastic bag and film at their locations, as well as urging them to offer alternatives to single-use bags.
With these small changes, we can all reduce the amount of disposable plastic we consume, and in the process, keep plastic from landfills and protect our oceans.
Thanks for joining us in making SLC #PlasticFree! Let us know if you see the trucks around town.