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Posts tagged ‘recycle’

Your Yard Waste Container: Get the Dirt on Compost

by Salt Lake Valley Landfill Compost Marketer & Recycling Specialist, Zak Breckenridge

It’s variably called the “yard waste bin,” the “brown can,” or the “compost container.”

Whatever name you give it, all Salt Lake City Waste & Recycling customers have the familiar brown can and use it to dispose of leaves, yard trimmings, small branches, grass, weeds, and other green waste.

It can also take your fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, and tea bags.

Salt Lake City’s compost container . . . aka “yard waste bin” aka “brown can.”

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the brown can. We’re (figuratively, not literally) getting down and dirty not only with what should and shouldn’t go in your bin, but also what happens to all of that “green waste” at its destination?

Welcome to the world of compost and why we’re so proud to have a commercial compost facility here in the Salt Lake Valley, which services Salt Lake City and many Salt Lake County curbside programs.

What exactly is Compost?

We all know that putting carrot tops and tomato stems in the compost is somehow better than putting them in the trash, but how do your food scraps and yard waste become a useful and valuable natural product that’s also better for the environment and better for our community?

Fresh compost
A BIG pile of Salt Lake Valley’s Certified Compost
Read more

Halloween Decorating! SLCgreen Style

Sustainability Decorations- plastic bag ghosts, trash bag spider webs, sunflowers.

Halloween is right around the corner! Have you finished your decorations yet?

The City & County Building is having a door decorating competition between departments (never mind that the building itself might be haunted….!)

Of course, here at the Sustainability Department we know it’s important to “walk our talk” in terms of decorating with reused, compostable, and recyclable goods to keep material out of the landfill.

In the process, we had a fun time using our creativity (and Google) to come up with some cool ways to spookishly decorate. Here are some tips for your home or office: Read more

Earth Week Day 4: What To Do With Your Plastic Bags

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

SLC’s Newest Recycling Trucks Remind Us to Ditch the Disposables

Trackwrap1

By Kyle Strayer

Keep an eye out for the city’s newest recycling trucks with our “Ditch Your Disposables” image.

The wrap covers eight of the new trucks, which have replaced older models. They are the newest addition to the city’s fleet of 34 trucks. (Check out previous years’ truck wraps here and here.)

Beyond the nifty new wrap, these state-of-the-art recycling trucks have a dynamic mechanical arm, multiple camera feeds displayed on the dashboard, two on-board trash compactors, and can haul 9 – 10 tons of material each.

Each truck has a low-emission profile too– three are Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and five are new clean diesel (100% of Salt Lake City’s refuse trucks are either CNG or clean diesel).

If you live in SLC, every item you recycle is eventually hauled off in one of the City’s trucks and taken to a recycling facility.  These trucks travel miles of city streets every day, collecting material and sending it off to be made into something new.

Their widespread visibility is one reason we use them for public education.

So back to the new wrap: Why the slogan “Wash, Reuse, Repeat”?  

Simply washing your durable products– whether a glass, coffee mug, silverware, or plate– instead of opting for disposables can save tons of material from going to the landfill each year.

(Sometimes disposable products are recycled, but usually they end up in the landfill. The waxy lining on paper coffee cups and plates makes them non-recyclable; and the difficult size and variable components of plastic utensils makes them ill-suited for recycling.)

Remember the tag line “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”?  

We think the first and second words and resulting behaviors need a little more love.

“Wash Reuse Repeat” is a new spin on the original slogan, reminding everyone that: Read more

A Visit to Rocky Mountain Recycling

Written by Lancee Whetman

 

Soda bottles, boxes, and aluminum cans…oh my!  What you throw in your blue bin actually matters and will likely end up at facilities like Rocky Mountain Recycling (RMR) to be processed, sorted, and sent to companies for reuse.

With locations spanning across 11 states, RMR has a reputation for excellence in their field, as they recycle tens of thousands of tons each month and have continually achieved awards for Best of State in Utah.  They provide innovative recycling services to commercial and industrial companies all over the United States as well as curbside recycling for Salt Lake City Residents.

As an intern with Salt Lake’s Department of Sustainability, I had the opportunity to visit and tour RMR’s facility in Salt Lake and inquire about what occurs behind the scenes in our city’s day-to-day recycling operations.  RMR does not usually give tours due to safety concerns, so with my closed-toed shoes, neon colored vest, and protective eyewear, I was ready to get my sneak peak of where the city’s recycling goes. 

Read more

Normal curbside waste collection on Monday, September 5th

RENEWABLE ENERGY (1)

New Sustainability Program Begins at Salt Lake City!

Empower SLC Logo - High Res PNGSalt Lake City Green recently launched Empower SLC, an in-house sustainability training platform available for all City employees. The twelve-month program will cover a variety of sustainability-related topics, including energy use at home, water conservation, renewable energy, and food. Empower SLC is designed to motivate behavior change at the individual level in order to reduce pollution, save resources, and enhance Salt Lake City.

Every week, short lessons are released under a larger monthly theme topic. Users can earn points by completing lessons, taking quizzes, and committing to actions each week. To encourage participation amongst all users, employees will earn a sustainability certification based on their level of participation. The Empower SLC certificate will be endorsed by the Mayor and the Sustainability Director at three levels: Basic, Gold, and Platinum.

Recycling Items

To date, over 400 employees have registered with Empower SLC! The first month’s theme, Water Free SLC, covers waste management, recyclable materials, and hazardous and electronic waste, with simple tips on how to green your lifestyle at home and in the office. For a closer look into how each department is participating, check out the chart below.

Empower SLC Registration