We’re in the final two weeks of Utah’s legislative session, which means we’re in for a wild ride full of twists, turns, and surprises until 11:59 pm on March 8.
SB 136: High Fees on Electric Vehicles and Transit Overhaul
SLCgreen and the Mayor’s Office are following many of the air quality-related bills. In particular, as we alerted you to recently, we are concerned about the high proposed registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles in SB0136 (though we support the funding mechanisms for more transit).
There have been a number of changes and attempted substitutions with this bill. Unfortunately, as of February 28, the fees for all-electric vehicles remain at $194/year. The fee structure also imposes changes for hybrid electric ($92/year) and plug-in hybrid vehicles ($124/year). Fees are going up on all vehicles. Standard gasoline vehicles will now pay $72/year.
However, the singling-out of clean vehicles is troubling. For those of us who care about clean air, the proposed EV fees are a significant set-back, especially coming the year after the state tax credit for electric vehicles was also rolled back.
Salt Lake City signed on to a coalition letter from Utah Clean Energy with other local governments and businesses opposing the fee. The bill has passed the Senate and now moves to the House. There’s still time to make your voice heard with your state representatives. Find your legislators here.
SB 218: Plastic Bags – Ban the Bans?
As you may have seen in the news, Salt Lake City is no longer able to accept plastic bags and plastic film in the blue curbside recycling containers.
So what should you do?
The short answer is –> Opt for REUSABLE bags whenever possible.
Remember the 3 R’s of waste management: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.
- Reduce the amount of single-use plastic you consume by using reusable bags.
- Reuse the bags you do have.
- Take your plastic bags for recycling back to the store. Many retailers have dedicated recycling receptacles for plastic film– which can be more effectively recycled when it’s not mixed with other items. Click here for a directory. (Don’t see your local retailer on the list? Ask them to join!)
Read on for other FAQ’s.
Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth.
Today we’re focusing on one of the most commonly asked questions: What to do with plastic bags?
Did you know that you shouldn’t bag your recyclables?
In fact, you should avoid putting plastic bags and garbage bags in your residential recycling bin entirely.
Plastic bags hinder the recycling process by:
- Not allowing the haulers to see if other non-recyclable materials are in the blue recycling bin.
- Contaminating otherwise good recycling materials.
- Wrapping around the equipment at the sorting facility. Plastic bags can damage machines and cause shutdowns, wasting time and dollars.
Watch this video by DNA Info Chicago to see how plastic bags can interrupt recycling machines on a daily basis:
So what should you do? Read more