Even during a pandemic, donating lightly used clothes, furniture, or other household goods is still the most sustainable way to manage your spring cleaning backlog. But where to go and how to keep everyone safe? We have some resources for you!
Posts tagged ‘reuse’
In 2018, China’s National Sword policy forced the United States to stop sending recyclable materials to China. The limitations have led to changes to the recycling process in the U.S., and changes in the market for recycled materials, which has affected the overall financial cost of recycling.
While some materials had been sent to other countries, plastic pollution, as well as improper recycling practices, have caused some recyclers to rethink their approach.
In October of last year, Waste Management, Salt Lake City’s recycling processor, made the announcement that they will not export residential plastic waste. Rather than rely on sending materials to countries outside of China for processing, Waste Management is keeping plastic recycling domestic. Several other companies have adopted similar policies. That means that the plastics you recycle at home will be processed in North America.
By focusing on building domestic markets, Waste Management’s policy will help ensure plastics are properly recycled and that they don’t end up polluting the environment through inadequate processing, containment, or disposal overseas.
Plastics make up 11% of Salt Lake City’s waste stream (by weight). Luckily, Salt Lake City recycles a lot. In June of 2019, we recycled 585 tons of cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard! The city recycles or composts 42% of the waste collected from residents. Recycling is crucial to protecting the environment. Indeed, recycling on this scale helps save trees, water, and energy. Moreover, proper recycling helps prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
Waste Management’s shift to keeping plastic recycling domestic will help make recycling even better. Waste Management acknowledges the specific threat plastic pollution poses to our waterways, explaining that out of all countries, the U.S. is the twentieth highest contributor of marine debris.
Recycling residential plastic domestically helps to reduce the likelihood of this kind of pollution.Read more
By SLCgreen intern Atticus Olmedo
Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!
It has been a busy summer for the Clever Octopus Creative Reuse Center. The creative reuse center is one of Salt Lake City’s e2 Businesses, a program dedicated to helping Salt Lake’s business community be more economically- and environmentally-sustainable. And Clever Octopus is passionate about sustainability. With multiple summer camps, including Sculpting the Future: Art to Save Utah with Goldman Sachs, and even more classes throughout the summer, the creative reuse center helps divert waste, support the community, and foster creativity and environmental awareness through art.
Indeed, Clever Octopus has expanded its programming from a thrift store for art supplies to a fully-fledged creative reuse center providing educational opportunities for students of all ages and skill levels across Salt Lake Valley.
SLCgreen recently met with members of Clever Octopus’ team, Lin Huang, Kacy Huston, Jen Lopez and David Sadler, to talk about their work making art sustainable and accessible.Read more
Nighttime, bedrooms, soft linens
Sleep well last night? Well, that’s because of me. If you’re moving and you can’t take me with you, or you’re upgrading a new mattress, it’s time for you to take care of me. If I am in good condition, donate me! If I’ve seen my last slumber party, bring me to Spring Back Utah, which is a local business that specializes in keeping me out of the landfill.
Don’t forget to bring along my other half; the box spring!
Spring is in full swing in Salt Lake City. If you’ve caught the spring cleaning bug, we’ve got some tips on how to clean out your clutter without sending items to the landfill.
Before tossing them, check to see if they are in relatively good condition. If so, donate them to a local charity for resale. If your books are beyond repair, put them in your curbside recycling bin.
Or give them away to a family with young children — you might even be able to arrange a swap! And you can always donate them to a local charity so they can find new life.
Toys that have seen their last playtime can often be recycled. A great example — any toys made entirely of plastic.
If your old TV, computer, mobile phone, etc. is still in working order, donate it!
If these items are no longer functional, recycle them responsibly at one of SLCgreen’s e-waste recycling events this summer. All events run from 8 a.m. to noon at the following Smith’s Food & Drug locations:
- May 17: 455 S 500 East
- June 21: 876 E 800 South
- July 19: 1174 W 600 North
- August 16: 455 S 500 East
If your furniture is broken, it is an acceptable item to place on the curb during your Salt Lake City Neighborhood Cleanup Day.
After you clear out your clutter, it’s time to clean things up! We recommend using green cleaning alternatives. Check out this blog for more details, including recipes to make your own green cleaner.
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.
Ditch 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!
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!
Our friends at The Leonardo have a very cool project that we just had to share with our readers!
The UpCycle Project takes items destined for the landfill and uses them to fuel innovation and creativity. Residents can drop off their old clutter which will then be up-cycled into a cool Art or Science project. Then stop by The Leo’s Tinkering Garage or the art Lab @ Leo to take part in one of their fun up-cycling activities!
Here’s a sample of items they are able to accept:
Materials can be dropped off any time during regular business hours. More information is available on their website.
Reduce and Reuse!
Did you know that over 1,300 tons of garbage is buried in the Salt Lake Valley Landfill every day?
Salt Lake City residents already have access to no less than four waste bins (garbage, mixed recycling, compost/yard waste and glass). Proper use of these bins is crucial to waste diversion, which is a technical term that basically means that the more waste we recycle in one form or another, the less garbage fills up the landfill.
But before recycling comes reduce and reuse. Everyone can reduce waste by incorporating some simple choices in their everyday shopping patterns.
- Reusing items more frequently
- Buying items that last longer (skip the disposables)
- Not buying items you don’t need (save waste AND money)
- Paying attention to excessive packaging on items
We have some great tips on reusable products like water bottles and tote bags, reducing junk mail and environmentally preferable purchasing on our SLCGreen website.
Do you have any questions? Let us know!