As the holiday season wraps up, you may be wondering what to do with your Christmas tree when the decorations are ready to come down. Please consider not burning your tree. Burning anything during the winter is bad for our air quality (Burning during “air action” days is also against State regulation and violates Salt Lake County Health Department rules).
Residents may dispose of trees in two ways. For immediate disposal, Salt Lake City asks residents to cut their trees up into a few small pieces and place in their brown compost containers. Ornaments and lights must be removed. “Flocked” trees are not accepted in the brown containers.
“Please do not stuff your tree in the cart,” said Lance Allen Director of the Waste and Recycling Division. “This makes it extremely difficult or impossible for our operators to remove your tree. Instead, please cut your tree into four foot or smaller pieces.”
Alternatively, residents may place whole trees on their curb for disposal in January. Exact pickup depends on demand and will occur in mid-to late-January. Residents may call 801-535-6999 for more information.
The inaugural class of Salt Lake City Master Recyclers are more than halfway through the program, and they are loving it!
So far, the class has explored the Salt Lake County Landfill operation, learned about Salt Lake City’s curbside sanitation services (your friendly weekday garbage, recycling and compost collection), taken a behind-the-scenes tour of Rocky Mountain Recycling’s facility, explored the ins and outs of the City’s composting operation and, most recently, “tagged” along with Salt Lake City’s can inspection team.
What’s up next? A waste audit with Momentum Recycling and a tour of their local clean glass recycling facility, the climate impacts of waste and a class on effective community engagement strategies. Upon completion of the program later this month, each participate will dedicate 10 hours of volunteer time helping to educate the community about what they learned. At that point, they’ll become certified Master Recyclers!
Are you interested in participating in the future? Check out the newly launched SLCMasterRecycler.com!
Did you know? Salt Lake City residents can choose their monthly garbage fee, depending on the size of their curbside bin.
There are three options available:
- $21.00 a month for 90 gallon
- $17.75 a month for 60 gallon
- $13.50 a month for 40 gallon
If you are on the fence about downsizing, consider maximizing your curbside recycling and compost (yard waste) bins. The more waste you divert from your garbage bin, the more money you’ll save with a smaller bin & monthly fee!
Learn more at SLCgreen.com. Or check out our “cheat sheets” below.
This is a guest blog post by Katie McKeon of Momentum Recycling, Salt Lake City’s contracted glass recycling services provider.
How many of these items do you consume?
Here at Momentum Recycling, we often hear people say they don’t use much glass. Most people think of glass bottles and immediately think of alcoholic beverages. While we receive a fair share of this type of glass, there is also quite a bit of glass out there that goes unnoticed. Recycling just one of these glass containers saves enough energy to:
- Light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours
- Power a computer for 30 minutes
- Power a television for 20 minutes
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and SLCgreen staff have a few tips for residents who want to make their celebrations a little greener.
- Use durable goods instead of disposable. Please, just say “no” to disposable plates, cups and utensils. Instead, bring out the readily available dishes from your very own kitchen! Sure, they require more cleanup, but you’ll be saving money and reducing waste. If you need to use disposables:
- Consider reusing disposable goods for another summer get-together to reduce your impact.
- Please note that compostable plates and utensils are currently not accepted through Salt Lake City’s Curbside Compost Program (i.e. your tan can), so steer clear.
- Provide drinks in large dispensers. It’s going to be a steamy Fourth of July this year, but instead of offering bottled water (and all of the plastic waste that comes along with it), put out drink dispensers that can be used to fill up your guests reusable water bottles or recyclable cups. This concept can also apply to any other beverages offered at your celebration – fewer bottles means less waste!
- Skip the personal fireworks. A controversial suggestion, we know. But the air pollution from fireworks can be tough on our valley’s air quality. Even sparklers have high concentrations of air pollution (read the scientific study). Consider air-friendly decorations that can be stored and reused next year instead. Need inspiration? The Daily Green has some great ideas.
- Choose air-friendly transportation. Can you bike or walk to your 4th of July celebration, or your yearly neighborhood fireworks show? Many homes in Salt Lake City offer a nice view from the convenience of your very own roof! We suggest that you skip the headache of parking and help reduce air pollution on a holiday that is especially prone to it. At the very least – carpool!
- Use a gas grill instead of charcoal. Propane gas grills heat up faster and have a whole lot less polluting emissions than charcoal grills. Read on to learn more at Earth911.com.
- Recycle, of course! When the party is over, be sure to recycle plastics, cardboard, cans and glass in the appropriate containers. Salt Lake City residents can put most recyclable materials into their blue curbside bin, and residents that subscribe to curbside glass service have an easy way to get the job done. Glass dropoff sites are also located throughout Salt Lake City.
The Daily Green has a very comprehensive Fourth of July Green Guide available on their website. We particularly love:
While you are there, also take a look at their Declare Your Independence piece.
Salt Lake City’s Sanitation Division recently launched a new online form that makes it easier for residents to report service issues related to their waste, recycling and curbside compost (yard waste) bins.
The online form covers the following common requests:
- Missed pickup
- Broken bin
- Lost or stolen bin
- Bins left overnight
- Bins blocking traffic or bike lane
- Seasonal – extra leaf bin and holiday tree pickup
Residents can also always call Sanitation Customer Service directly at (801) 535-6999. Learn more about your curbside waste service.
Seriously. We do.
The ability to take a large segment of Salt Lake City’s waste, prevent it from filling up our landfill, and then use it to make gardens thrive, is a miraculous thing in our eyes.
Composting is nature’s way of recycling. You can turn fruit, veggies, grass, branches and leaves into dark, crumbly and sweet-smelling soil amendment. It saves you money by lowering your garbage bill (switch to a smaller waste bin and save) and helps you avoid purchasing expensive commercial fertilizers.
Salt Lake City residents have two great options – curbside compost or home composting.
Curbside Compost: Also known as the yard waste program, or the tan can, curbside composting is made easy with a 90 gallon bin picked up weekly. Currently the tan can is “vegan” – meaning it only accepts green waste. The wheels are in motion to expand curbside composting to accept more forms of food waste, so stay tuned! In the meantime, maximize your curbside bin with tea bags and coffee grounds.
Home Compost: Enjoy the spoils of your composting efforts at home! Build your own composting bin and watch your garden thrive. More home composting tips.
With two easy ways to get the job done, we bet you will ♥ compost too!