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Posts from the ‘Recycling & Waste’ Category

Should you use “compostable” disposables?

compostable disposables (1)It’s the New Year and you may have made it a goal to waste less and recycle more. That’s great!

A common question we receive here at SLCgreen is about so-called “compostable” or “biodegradable” disposables. 

What are they? Are they better than regular disposables? Can they go in the brown curbside compost can?

At first blush, they seem to offer a great solution–the convenience of single-use bags, plates, cups, and utensils — with a supposedly more environmentally-friendly footprint.

However, the truth is more complicated.

That’s because, as it turns out, these single-use ‘bioplastic’ products are just as bad for the environment as the regular single-use plastic products they were meant to replace.

So what is bioplastic? Read more

What a Year! Check out our 2018 Year in Review

Check out Salt Lake City Sustainability’s 2018 Year in Review!

The last few years have been incredible for us here at SLCgreen and this past year was no exception.

We are thrilled to share our progress from 2018 with you. As always, we’d like to give a huge shout out to all of our partners— those in City government, other government agencies, non-profit associations, passionate neighborhood groups, and dedicated community councils with whom we work. Building a more sustainable SLC takes many hands!

Below are some of the highlights from our 2018 annual report. You can download the full 2018 report here

Don’t miss our reports from 2017 and 2016 too.

Highlights from 2018 include:

Air Quality and Climate Change

Read more

Give Generously, Give Better

We wish you a restful, sustainable, and joyful holiday season and beyond. Thank you for making our community one of the most generous in the country.

December is the month for generosity. It’s the time not only for giving gifts to loved ones, but for giving to the causes you care about. The giving spirit may also encourage you to think of those less fortunate in our community who need a little help.

Indeed sharing compassion and empathy with those struggling is what elevates– and betters– our entire community.

In fact, our state is known for its generosity, securing the second spot in the nation in a recent study.

With that in mind, Salt Lake City, the Lieutenant Governor, and community service providers recently held a press conference to encourage residents to give smarter– and to give generously– this holiday season and year-round.

Read more

Why Do We Check Recycling Cans?

 

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Hi! One of SLC’s Recycling Education Team members checking a container.

You may have seen a recent story in the Salt Lake Tribune that follows SLCgreen’s Recycling Education Team on a visit around our neighborhoods checking recycling containers. The piece does a good job of giving an overview of the purpose of our Education Team, but we’d like to give you some additional context.

The Education Team works in Salt Lake City’s Waste & Recycling Division and is comprised of five dedicated and passionate employees whose sole job it is to educate the public and improve recycling behavior. We never fine anyone, and our team works hard to be customer-service oriented, friendly, and professional.

The team is out and about each week, across the city, checking cans, leaving materials, and having conversations with people about recycling. They’re also some of the faces you see at community events, festivals, markets, and classrooms across SLC.

Their work is a critical part of our effort to make sure we are recycling as much as possible in the Salt Lake City community– and that we’re “recycling right.” Read more

Goal: Reduce food waste this holiday season

agriculture basket close up colorful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, bringing the friend and family food fest with it! While we prepare the feast and give thanks for the plentiful food we have, it is important to consider the amount of food that goes to waste this holiday season.

Food is one of the most important areas of sustainability in our daily lives and it is often overlooked! Reducing food waste is important for everyone because it saves both money and resources.

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 35 percent of turkey meat cooked at Thanksgiving gets wasted?

That’s a lot of wasted resources!

When we reduce food waste we save:

  • The resources and water used to grow crops and raise animals
  • Manufacturing and energy resources
  • Transportation resources and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Money by buying less and throwing away less
  • Disposal costs and emissions

That last one is significant– food sent to landfills is a powerful source of methane. A whopping 40 percent of food meant for eating is thrown away.

All of this rotting food produces a lot of greenhouse gases. In fact if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S.

Read more

Dropping Temps and Falling Leaves

Everyday I'm Rustlin

Fall is here in Salt Lake City and leaves are beginning to drop.

This is a friendly reminder to please use your brown compost containers to dispose of leaves. The brown bins go to the compost facility at the Salt Lake Valley Landfill.

Have a lot of leaves?

  • Try composting leaves in your own yard, in a compost can or mulching them into your flower beds or gardens. Read our blog post detailing how and why this is a beneficial practice.
  • Rather than a chore to be conquered all at once, rake enough leaves each week just to fill the can.
  • Temporarily store extra leaves in your yard, in a pile, or in a large sturdy container and feed them into your yard waste can each week.

Extra Brown Containers

Containers can be requested anytime during the year except for February and March when compost collection is temporarily suspended. Read more

Why Glass Recycling is Great

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!

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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