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See what SLCgreen Accomplished in 2019

You can download the full 2019 Year in Review here.

Happy New Year!

It’s 2020 already and we can hardly believe it! Salt Lake City finished out 2019 strong alongside 19 communities that opted into the Community Renewable Energy Act’s pathway to achieve net-100% renewable energy.

But that’s not all SLCgreen got up to in 2019. It was a busy year, and as a community, we have taken major strides in accomplishing our goals. See our full 2019 Year in Review here and read below for a few of the major highlights.

Thanks to all our partners in City government, other government agencies, non-profit associations, neighborhood groups, business partners, and community councils, we are continuing to make SLC more sustainable and resilient.

You can take a look at the 2017 and 2018 reports to see what we’ve been working on over the last few years. Before we set our sights on 2020, here are a few highlights from 2019!

The Salt Lake City and County Building is visible from the roof for the Leonardo Museum, which has several solar panels installed.

Air Quality, Climate Change & Energy

  • After a three-year collaboration with Park City, Summit County, Rocky Mountain Power, and the state legislature, we successfully saw passage of House Bill 411 the “Community Renewable Energy Act” in the 2019 legislative session. The law establishes a legal pathway for communities with 100% clean energy goals to achieve them in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Power.
  • Helped plan and participated in the historic United Nations Civil Society Conference “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities.” See the content of our presentations and related videos here.
  • Expanded public EV charging infrastructure, increasing the total number of city-owned EV charging ports to 38, plus 16 at the airport.
  • With Utah Clean Energy, launched “Empower SLC,” a neighborhood energy efficiency program targeting the 84116 and 84104 neighborhoods to improve energy efficiency and conservation measures that reduce pollution and lower utility costs. As of September, over 450 households have been engaged, resulting in an estimated savings of 335,353 kWh per year!
  • Supported Utah Climate Week 2019, collaborating with 35 organizations to highlight climate action.
  • Developed an energy after-school curriculum for youth groups and created a new partnership with YouthCity on programming for the Fall 2019 programs. This resulted in the adoption of “energy” as the central theme of their Science Fair.
  • Hosted the Elevate Buildings awards luncheon, recognizing first-year reporting commercial buildings with ENERGY STAR scores 75 and above and Mayoral recognition of exceptional performers.
  • Received a Blue Sky Legacy Award from Rocky Mountain Power for over 15 years of partnership in the program.
  • Ranked in the top 10 states around the country for solar energy production increase, according to the Energy Information Administration.
  • Bid farewell to Tyler Poulson and welcomed Christopher Thomas as our incoming Senior Energy and Climate Program Manager.

Food & Equity

  • Awarded $50,000 through the USDA Rural Business Development Grant to conduct the Northern Utah Food Hub Feasibility Study with Crossroads Resource Center. This will allow us to assess the viability of specific infrastructure improvements to strengthen community-based food trade.
  • Completed a year-long strategic planning process with the Food Policy Council to establish policies and procedures for the Council.
  • Completed the final grant cycle of a the Local Food Microgrant Fund, which awarded a total of $85,000 in grants to assist local farmers in growing more diversified and sustainable produce.
  • Continued to promote the Pesticide Free SLC program to educate residents on how to reduce their use and exposure to chemical pesticides as part of Healthy Babies, Bright Futures. To date we have had 350 residents pledge to be pesticide free. 
  • Partnered with Stonyfield Organic and Salt Lake City’s Parks & Public Lands Division to transition several fields at the Regional Athletic Complex and other parks to organic land care.
  • Bid farewell to Bridget Stuchly and hired a new Sustainability Manager, Supreet Gill, in August 2019 who is focusing on Food and Equity programming.
  • Advanced Resident Food Equity Advisor project by connecting with over ten community organizations and agencies that provide services for residents experiencing food hardships to explore partnership opportunities.
Utah State Senator Derek Kitchen participating in the 2019 Eat Local Week celebrating local food.

Waste & Recycling

  • Emptied 4.7 million containers and collected over 67,000 tons of material from the curbside trash, recycling and compost containers with only 867 missed pickups, resulting in a 99.98% performance rating – one reason why the Waste and Recycling Division has ranked #3 in the top services offered by the city.
  • Engaged city residents in a survey on waste & recycling services and a proposed fee increase. To spread the word and solicit feedback, the education team distributed notices on 42,000 containers across the city; mailers were sent out to the same number of customers; and a 6-week public outreach campaign commenced. In total, nearly 6,200 responses were received to the online Qualtrics survey. Residents were also able to call and or drop-off paper versions of the survey.
  • Continued implementing the Call 2 Haul bulk item collection program. In FY19 7,442 requests were fulfilled, resulting in over 5,600 tons of material collected. Implementation of Call 2 Haul has dramatically reduced problematic illegal dumping behaviors by limiting set-out times, enabling better tracking of illegal piles, facilitating quicker cleanup responses. Recycled 102 tons of mattresses, electronics, appliances, tires, and metals through Call 2 Haul under the first full year of the program.
  • Negotiated a new multi-year agreement with a recycling processor for the material collected through the curbside recycling program, resulting in a new $16 million materials recovery facility, (MRF) currently under construction in Salt Lake City and expected to open in early 2020. It will be one of the most state-of-the-art recycling facilities in the country!
  • Updated the Master Recycling Program to include a new Zero Waste Lifestyle module and created an online feedback forum.
  • Continued refining the business and multi-family recycling program by authorizing 16 haulers and implementing a non-compliance resolution process. Established a baseline metric of 38% for business waste diversion.
  • Revised the compost process to increase the quantity of green waste material processed, as well as improved the quality of compost material, achieving Seal of Testing Assurance certification through the US Composting Council.
This graphic shows SLC’s residential recycling impact for one month (June 2019 at 585 tons). From Jan – Oct, we collectively diverted 6,466 tons of recycling and 14,320 tons of green waste through our curbside programs.

Of course we also bid farewell to Mayor Jackie Biskupski who has championed sustainability initiatives and worked closely with us over her four year tenure. We thank her and her team for their leadership, partnership, and support!

2020 Goals

2019 was packed with activity and we are ready to move into 2020 with the same dedication to sustainability and equity. In 2020, SLC will have access to a new and improved recycling facility which will allow us to capture more material at less cost. The city will be also work to improve availability of Hard to Recycle Materials collection sites as well as broadening the diversion of food waste for compost.

We’ll also be busy on the next steps of the Community Renewable Energy Act to bring net-100% clean electricity to our community, as well as announcing an exciting milestone for municipal renewable energy development.

We look forward to convening our Resident Equity Advisors and helping bring more local, healthy food to our communities.

Onward into a new year and a new decade for sustainability in Salt Lake City!

Check out the full 2019 Year in Review here.

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