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Posts tagged ‘contamination’

Why Do We Check Recycling Cans?



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

Recycling: This Earth Day, Let’s Get Back to Basics

It’s #EarthWeek in Salt Lake City! We’re excited to bring you a range of content to inspire action on behalf of our planet. As part of that, we were excited to contribute a blog post to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality about recycling. There have been some changes in the industry in the last year and it all reminds us to “get back to basics: reduce, reuse, and recycle right.” Read on!

Contamination Plastic Bags

Plastic bag “contamination” at a local recycling facility. Help us reduce, reuse, and recycle right!

by Sophia Nicholas, SLCgreen Communications Manager

Recycling is one of the most common sense practices to conserve resources and care for the Earth.

So this Earth Day—let’s get back to basics and take a deep dive on what’s going on with recycling these days and what you as an environmentally-conscious person should do to “recycle right.”

Did you know that most of the items you put in the recycling bin get sent to Asia to be processed into new material? Those water bottles get turned into fleece, cardboard into paper bags, and milk jugs into . . . new milk jugs.

A large majority of this material is processed in China.  Or, I should say, was.

You may have heard that China is no longer accepting the world’s waste as of January 2018. They were previously processing roughly half of the world’s plastic, metal, and paper recyclables. Their ban is part of an effort to clean up their environment and not become the home of “foreign garbage.” We applaud China’s strengthening of their environmental laws, policies, and procedures.

However, in the short term, the Chinese ban is causing recycling vendors and processors worldwide to search for new markets for some of the material China no longer wants. This includes lower-quality plastics and paper. China also doesn’t want “contamination”—which refers to non-recyclable items being mixed up with recyclable items, as well as dirty and unwashed recyclables.


PCE Superfund Community Meeting on October 26, 6:30 pm


On October 26, the EPA and Veterans Administration will be speaking at a community meeting to update residents about the PCE Superfund plume at 700 South 1600 East.

Background is available here:
A Map of the plume site is available here:

At this time, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the site’s potentially responsible party, is headed into a critical step of the Superfund process called the Remedial Investigation Report. Two critical assessments for the community—a Public Health Assessment (PHA) and Risk Assessment (RA)—will be included in this report. Attend the Wednesday, October 26th PCE Plume meeting to become informed and engaged at this critical juncture. Learn, recommend and have questions answered about:

• What is a Superfund Public Health Assessment and Risk Assessment?
• Why is a public health assessment required?
• When the Public Health Assessment will be conducted
• Site specific information on Risk Assessment
• How Risk Assessment factors into project decisions and,
• Differences between the Public Health Assessment and Risk Assessment

Project Presenters
Mr. David Dorian – Environmental Health Scientist – Regional Representative for Region 8
Mr. Mike Novak – Senior Technologist at CH2M

HOSTED BY: Advocates for VA Groundwater Plume Resolution – a COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP (CAG) for 700 South 1600 East Federal Superfund Site. Barbara Jones, Chair.

Questions? Contact Robin Carbaugh, 801.870.1428

Pesticides & Produce: The Dirty Dozen


Fact: Eating healthy begins with fresh fruits and vegetables. 

But it is also important to understand how the use of pesticides in industrial farming impacts the very same produce you buy at your local grocery store.

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restricts the use of the most toxic pesticides, they can still be detected on some of your favorite foods.

[VIDEO] Watch our segment on KUTV 2News!

Read more