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Posts tagged ‘recycling’

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.

READ MORE ON THE DEQ BLOG

Update on EV Fees and Banning the Plastic Bag Ban

Utah Capitol

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?
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Important Service Announcement for Thanksgiving, Nov 23rd

Areas serviced on Thursday & Friday will be delayed by one day and serviced on Friday & Saturday respectively. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Image describing change in Waste and Recycling collection for Thanksgiving Day

 

Back-to-Basics with Recycling and the City’s Business Recycling Ordinance

Check out a recent blog post from Salt Lake City’s Economic Development Department on the Business Recycling Ordinance!

And if you’re a business or multi-family property in Salt Lake City that has questions about the ordinance or starting a recycling program, mark your calendar for two upcoming workshops:

October 26

When: Thursday, October 26, 2017, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Main Library, Room A (Level 1). See list of room locations here.

What: Salt Lake City Waste & Recycling staff will present the details of complying with the ordinance and answer any questions you may have.

November 30

When: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Main Library, Room A (Level 1). See list of room locations here.

What: Salt Lake City Waste & Recycling staff will present the details of complying with the ordinance and answer any questions you may have.

 

Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development

We all know that Salt Lake City is the place to be. There are so many great reasons to open up a business or expand an existing one here in Salt Lake City (case in point: all of our previous blogs posts!)

Here’s yet another reason to be proud of SLC: the City’s commitment to sustainability. We’ve launched an occasional blog series, in partnership with SLCgreen, to delve into why sustainability matters for your business, why it’s a recruitment tool, and how it helps your bottom line.

Next up: How recycling can help your business

Recycling is one of the most basic forms of environmental stewardship—for our City, for residents, and for businesses. Why produce new goods out of raw materials when we can reuse and recycle old stuff?

Recycling is also a lucrative and important sector of our local economy. It’s expanding quickly, adding new jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities…

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Salt Lake City Taking Feedback on Neighborhood Cleanup Program through September 8

NCU postcard design_Instagram

Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department and the Mayor’s Office launched an online survey this week to solicit resident feedback on how this solid waste collection service can be modified and improved in the coming years. The survey will be open through Friday, September 8, and is available in English and Spanish.

The Neighborhood Cleanup (NCU) is a program that Salt Lake City, through its Waste & Recycling Division, has provided to single-family homes, duplexes, and triplexes in the city for over 20 years. Currently, residents have one week per year to dispose of large materials on their curb and are notified of their collection period three weeks in advance via a postcard in the mail. Over 5,000 tons of material is collected annually, with 22 percent being recycled or composted. Read more

Salt Lake City’s Mitch Davis Recognized for Innovative Waste & Recycling Work

Ever wonder how Salt Lake City successfully diverts over 32,000 tons of material annually from the landfill?

It’s a big undertaking– involving operations, education, outreach, and policy. And our amazing staff are at the heart of it!

Today we’re thrilled to announce that one of our own, Mitch Davis, is being recognized nationally for his efforts by Waste360, a recycling trade group serving 90,000 professionals.

The Waste360 “40 Under 40” awards program “recognizes inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 whose work in waste, recycling and organics have made a significant contribution to the industry.“

“This award is a great honor in the waste & recycling industry,” said Lance Allen, Waste & Recycling Division Director. “We are very proud of Mitch and what he brings to our team and community.”

Mitch started his career with Salt Lake City as an intern in 2008 while finishing up his degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Utah. His passion for waste diversion and public service has been the driving force behind the success of many of our waste diversion strategies ever since.

When Mitch started with Salt Lake City he wanted to, “make a difference.” Because of his hard work and dedication, he most certainly has achieved that goal! Here’s how: Read more

Earth Week Day 5: Common Recycling Mistakes

Are you making these recycling mistakes-

It’s Earth Week!

Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth.

To build off our waste theme, today we are looking at some common recycling mistakes.

Below is a list of common recycling errors and how to fix them.

Read more