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Posts tagged ‘reusable bags’

Check Out our New Trucks!

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Help us make SLC Plastic Free by keeping plastic bags out of curbside containers. Say no to single-use bags and yes to reusable!

By Jack Hurty, SLCgreen intern

 

Salt Lake City’s often under-appreciated workhorses are getting a makeover – and an educational one at that. Six of our recycling trucks recently received a new body wrap, pictured above.

Their visibility is key to educating the public about what can and cannot be recycled.

There have been big changes rocking the recycling world lately and plastic bags are one of the most significant sources of “contamination.”

Besides these bright new wraps, the trucks are state-of-the-art waste management machines.

Not only do they run on low-emission Clean Natural Gas (CNG) and clean diesel, but they are equipped with an on-board trash compactor, an array of cameras, and a mechanical arm to pick up and empty recycling bins.

Every week, these trucks travel to all corners of the city, making sure that our waste is taken care of.

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What’s the Deal with Plastic Bags?

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As you may have seen in the newsSalt 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.

  1. Reduce the amount of single-use plastic you consume by using reusable bags.
  2. Reuse the bags you do have.
  3. 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.

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Ditching the Disposables, a Guide to Using Less this Holiday Season– and Every Day

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Reusable bags are a great way to use less plastic.

 

The holidays are right around the corner, which means lots of gift and grocery shopping. Find out how you can make small changes in your holiday habits to use fewer materials, be more sustainable, and spread the joy!

While most plastic is recyclable, the reality is that we currently recover only 6% percent of the plastics we produce. The vast majority of consumed plastics gets sent to landfills or contaminates ecosystems where it will last for thousands of years.

So what’s the alternative?

Not using that plastic fork in the first place.  It may be convenient to not wash dishes during the Thanksgiving feast, but that saved time just transfers an extra burden to our environment.  The solution? Use something more than once.

Disposable plastics goods such as plastic silverware, bags, one use bottles, caps, lids, straws and food containers are the most discarded items in our society. And for the most part– they’re not readily recyclable.

A big source of waste also comes from packaging. While much of this is also recyclable, it does create a cost on the environment during transportation and energy required to run recycling plants.  The solution?  Be aware of the packaging of products and seek out those with less.

A big surge in packaging during the holidays comes from online shopping. While purchasing items online can be convenient, consider the benefits of shopping locally (Small Business Saturday is coming up!). You’ll help minimize waste by skipping the extra packaging AND improve air quality– all those delivery trucks on the roads in December add an extra dose of pollution to our air right in the middle of inversion season.

December means lots of gift wrapping as well. Consider reusing blank sides of scrap paper and making your own stamps or illustrations (snowflakes are great!). You can also tie on pinecones for a decorative flourish instead of single-use bows.

A change in daily– and holiday– habits can go a long way.


Here is a list of simple tips to help you ditch the disposables this holiday season– and every day: Read more

Earth Day Impact: Reduce & Reuse

Are you wondering what you can do to reduce your impact this Earth Day — and every day?

More than 1,300 tons of garbage is buried in the Salt Lake Valley Landfill every day. Here are a few simple things you can do to limit your impact.

Reusable Products

reusable bagDitch the disposables! Embrace reusable bags when you go to the grocery store.

Say goodbye to expensive and wasteful plastic water bottles. Instead, swap in a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle. You can even purchase an insulated version to keep your drinks cool on hot summer days. Salt Lake City’s TapIt program boasts a network of businesses that will refill your bottle with fresh water, too!

And speaking of drinks, bring a reusable coffee mug to your local coffee shop. You’ll even get a discount on your next latte!

Avoid Overpackaging

Sure, those individually packaged mini carrots may save you a few seconds when you are packing lunches in the morning, but is that worth the extra money and wasted material?

Save some green and reduce your weekly waste by buying a large package instead, and placing them in reusable containers each day. More tips to green your lunch.

Reduce Junk Mail

We all get it, and we all hate it.

GlobalStewards.org has some tips to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. In a few simple steps, you can cut out mass marketing mailers, catalogs and credit card offers!

You can also reduce your impact by going “paperless” for your monthly credit card, bank and utility statements.

Just getting started? Get more tips at SLCgreen.com.

We stopped by KUTV2 News on Earth Day to share these tips. Watch the video of the segment!