by Tera Clausen
There is no such thing as away when it comes to waste. It is out of sight out of mind, but it is never truly gone. When things are thrown away, they go to a landfill to pile up in a heap. Some of the items will eventually break down, while many others will not. The reality of the trash heap can be summed up in a word: hopelessness. It is the end of the road, and the possibilities of re-creation and re-purposing are gone. However, recycling brings back possibility.
Photo credit: Jeri Gravlin
Kate Whitbeck Principal of Momentum gives SLCgreen a tour. Photo credit: Kyle Strayer
Glass cullet inside Momentum. Photo credit: Jeri Gravlin
Brown glass before processing.Photo credit: Jeri Gravlin
Kate Whitbeck Principal of Momentum gives SLCgreen a tour. Photo credit: Kyle Strayer
Drop off of glass before processing. Photo credit: Kyle Strayer
As the newest intern at SLC Green, my first official order of business was to tour some of the recycling facilities for Salt Lake City. This tour was a front row seat to possibility. One of the stops for the SLCgreen crew was Momentum Recycling. Momentum was founded in 2008, and in 2012 became the exclusive glass recycler for Salt Lake City.
In 2012, Momentum was bringing in about 200 tons of recycled glass. In the past four years, since expanding their curbside services, they now bring in approximately 1,000 tons per month! I will be honest, it was overwhelming to see how many glass bottles were waiting to be sorted and recycled, but the beauty of possibilities also struck me. Instead of hopelessly ending in a landfill, these items could become something new and useful.
March is Sustainable Living Solutions and Inspiration month at the Winter Market. Meet with Utah business owners and organizations who inspire environmentally friendly living solutions. A handful of local agencies, including SLCgreen, will be in attendance at the Winter Market on March 12 and March 26 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to discuss what services are available to you and how you can reduce your ecological footprint.
Did you know that electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States? Valuable precious metals can be salvaged from recycling e-waste and toxic chemicals are prevented from entering the landfill and ground water. Good news — Recycle Solutions will be onsite at the March Winter Markets collecting electronic waste from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm! Below is a list of acceptable goods.
Please note CTR TVs (tube TVs) or refrigerators will NOT be accepted at this collection event.
Computers Fax/Copy Machines Ink/Toner Cartridges
Keyboards & Accessories
Office Machines Monitors
Hand Held Devices
Printers & Scanners
Returned or Unwanted Products
Servers Stereos and Audio Equipment
Televisions (No CRT TVs)
VCR’s & DVD Players
Washers & Dryers
For more information visit the SLC Downtown Farmers Market website or Facebook page.
Salt Lake City Green is excited to announce the spring 2016 Salt Lake City Master Recycler program! Register at SLCMasterRecycler.com.
What is Master Recycler?
Salt Lake City Green is working to build out a network of residents who are trained and certified Master Recyclers who understand all aspects of waste reduction, city services and bin downsizing options.
Master Recyclers commit to attending eight weekly workshops running from May-June 2016. Classes are scheduled for Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. A full class schedule is below.
Workshops will cover a variety of topics and emphasize opportunities for hands-on learning. Every workshop includes a field trip for a behind-the-scenes look at the Salt Lake County Landfill, Salt Lake City Sanitation, Rocky Mountain Recycling, landfill composting operation and Momentum Glass Recycling. You’ll even “tag” along with Salt Lake City’s can inspection team!
What’s in it for you?
- A tote bag full of Master Recycler swag, including t-shirt and stainless steel water bottle.
- The knowledge to help your friends, neighbors and kids maximize your recycling & reduce your impact on the environment.
Sign up! Visit SLCMasterRecycler.com.
Program Schedule – Spring 2016
||Tuesday, May 3rd
|Master Recycler Program Introduction
Tour: Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management
||Tuesday, May 10th
|Salt Lake City Sanitation and Waste Reduction
Tour: Salt Lake City Sanitation Department
||Tuesday, May 17th
Tour: Rocky Mountain Recycling
||Tuesday, May 24th
|Residential and Municipal Composting
Tour: Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Municipal Compost Facility
||Tuesday, June 7th
|Residential Waste Reduction
Activity: Curbside Inspections and Outreach
||Tuesday, June 14th
|Commercial Waste Reduction
Tour: Momentum Recycling Glass Recycling Facility
||Tuesday, June 21st
|Effective Community Engagement
Activity: Waste Audit
||Tuesday, June 28th
|Climate Impacts of Waste
Guest Speaker: TBD
Photos from the first Master Recycler class
Have you noticed the new truck wraps driving around Salt Lake City?
We’ve outfitted all of our Sanitation vehicles with bright new wrappers promoting downsizing options available to all city residents. So keep your eyes open on garbage day!
Every month, you pay one fee for your garbage can – that’s it. Your recycling and compost can service is included in that fee. There are three garbage can sizes, and if you downsize your can you also downsize your monthly waste fee!
||Monthly Fee per Can
Call (801) 535-6999 to downsize your garbage can today.
Here are some tips for a more sustainable holiday season.
Gifts Use recycled wrapping paper! Get creative and make your own with old maps, newspaper, photographs, or paper bags. Here are some more fun ideas!
Give experiences instead of material items. Think a visit to a museum, garden, or aviary, or a ski pass, a yoga or cooking class, a gift certificate to a spa or a ticket to a ballet or sporting event. Or consider donating to an organization on behalf of someone. Make gifts or buy gifts made of recycled materials. If you are going to buy gifts, support local businesses including our e2 businesses which are both local and green!
Food Make sustainable food choices like buying from local growers. Stock up on holiday staples at this weekend’s Winter Market Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Rio Grande Train Depot.
Incorporate vegan dishes into your holiday traditions. Be creative with leftovers and reduce food waste. Also, use reusable tableware and be sure to recycle glass and cans.
Decorations Here are some fun decorating ideas: String popcorn and cranberries together to make festive decor. Make paper chains with recycled newspapers or magazines and homemade ornaments out of recycled holiday cards. Cut bows from shrubs and trees in your yard and make a homemade wreath. After the holidays, if you have a tree, please put it in the brown compost can.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
Last night, the Salt Lake City Council passed the Business & Multi-Family Recycling Ordinance! The new ordinance will require large businesses and apartments (multi-family housing complexes) that produce 4+ cubic yards of waste per week to subscribe to recycling services from an authorized waste hauler. The ordinance also stipulates that recycling must be as easy to use as garbage service for tenants and customers.
This is an exciting step forward to reduce waste in Salt Lake City. Businesses and multi-family units produce 50% of all waste in the city, but only 10-15% of that waste is currently recycled. When widespread business and multi-family recycling goes into effect, more than 20,000 tons of material will be kept out of the landfill.
Once the ordinance is recorded (anticipated January 2016), waste haulers will have six months to become authorized. Businesses and multi-family complexes will have a full two years from the effective date to comply.
To learn more about the requirements of the ordinance, visit SLCgreen.com.
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!