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Posts tagged ‘Zero Waste’

DIY Composting

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

As we mentioned in our last post, compost is awesome! And when you put yard trimmings, leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps, and more in your curbside brown compost container, you’re engaging in one of the best forms of local recycling: Composting.

Municipal composting saves landfill space, reduces landfill greenhouse gas emissions, and maintains the local nutrient cycle.

About 30% of what we put in the trash could be turned into compost, which has a big impact on our community carbon emissions and our landfill space.

But what do you do if you don’t have access to curbside yard waste disposal?

Or, perhaps you prefer to skip the brown bin and make your own nutrient-rich compost for your vegetable, flower gardens, and lawn.

Whatever the case may be, today we’re focusing on at-home composting, which gives you the convenience of fresh compost right at home, plus all of the environmental benefits of putting your kitchen and yard waste to good use.

Of course, there isn’t only one right way to compost. While composting methods share the same basic principles, there are many factors to keep in mind. Read on to learn about the main composting techniques so you can decide what method will work best for you.

Compost bin
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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
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It’s Farmers Market Season!

Summer is here and along with it are the Salt Lake City area Farmers Markets. June 7th and 8th marked the start of another great summer of Farmers Markets with the Liberty Park Farmers Market on Friday night and the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The markets ushered in summer with everything from delicious food trucks to fresh heirloom vegetables to artisan dog cookies!

On Saturday, interns from SLCgreen tabled alongside farmers and vendors including Buzzed Coffee, Raclette Machine, Mamachari Kombucha, Volkers Bakery, and many more. Salt Lake City’s Farmers Market are a great way to support local growers; eat fresh, locally grown food; and to learn about sustainability projects in Salt Lake City.

SLCgreen Interns Linda Derhak and Atticus Olmedo tabling at the Downtown Farmers Market.
SLCgreen Interns Linda Derhak and Atticus Olmedo at the Downtown Farmers Market.

Support Farmers Markets

Salt Lake City supports community-based food production as a means of making fresh, sustainable foods more readily accessible.

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Should you use “compostable” disposables?

compostable disposables (1)It’s the New Year and you may have made it a goal to waste less and recycle more. That’s great!

A common question we receive here at SLCgreen is about so-called “compostable” or “biodegradable” disposables. 

What are they? Are they better than regular disposables? Can they go in the brown curbside compost can?

At first blush, they seem to offer a great solution–the convenience of single-use bags, plates, cups, and utensils — with a supposedly more environmentally-friendly footprint.

However, the truth is more complicated.

That’s because, as it turns out, these single-use ‘bioplastic’ products are just as bad for the environment as the regular single-use plastic products they were meant to replace.

So what is bioplastic? 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

Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change

ClimatePositvePrintout

Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Carbon Pollution

Climate Positive plan prioritizes regional collaboration, community participation, and innovation to reduce pollution and enhance local resilience to warming temperatures.

 Salt Lake City has released a comprehensive plan entitled Climate Positive 2040, detailing ways the Capitol City will sustain its leadership role in addressing climate change.

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The Sustainability Department is Hiring!

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Are you passionate about recycling and helping Salt Lake City divert as much waste from the landfill as possible?  Do you have management experience?

The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department is hiring a Program Director to head up our Waste & Recycling Division (formerly known as the Sanitation Division).

This position reports directly to the Sustainability Department Director, Vicki Bennett.

We are looking for candidates with operational experience and a broad vision to improve waste diversion including business and residential recycling, hard-to-recycle waste, recycling markets and green waste composting. Read more

Salt Lake City Searching for New Sanitation Program Director

Sanitation-Director

Salt Lake City is looking for a new Sanitation Program Director that will help the City achieve it’s goal of zero waste by 2040!

Apply at SLCgov.com.

Position: SANITATION PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Job Code: 001609
Job Bid: 150228
Department: Public Services
Salary: (031) $4,933.00 – $8,538.00
Close Date: 6/4/2015

Directs and manages the City’s operations for the Sanitation Program. As Program Director, incumbent is responsible for managing operations associated with the City’s recycling and waste collection programs, including but not limited to: curbside refuse, compost and recycling collection; neighborhood clean-up; enforcement and education; and container maintenance. Plans, develops and implements city-wide waste diversion and reduction policies and initiatives to meet the City’s goal to reach Zero Waste by 2040.

Position requires specialized knowledge of best management practices for waste diversion, sanitation operations and requires the knowledge and ability to address local challenges.

Plans for and directs operations associated with the delivery of citywide sanitation services, including: curbside refuse, compost and recycling collection; neighborhood cleanup; enforcement and education; and container maintenance programs. Develops and implements strategies for aggressively moving the City towards Zero Waste. Designs, implements, and monitors program including the implementation of best management practices, environmental stewardship, operating budgets, performance measures, personnel and equipment maintenance. Recommends and initiates process improvements, cost saving measures, operational efficiencies and other program changes necessary to achieve Zero Waste.  Directs the preparation and necessary adjustments to the program budget, including the support needed for updates and revisions to the annual budget document. Monitors and manages budget, resources, and financial transactions. Ensures appropriate processes, procedures, and policies are in place and followed for all financial transactions. Analyzes and develops program policies, goals, and objectives to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Creates strategic plans to support the policies, goals and objectives of the program. Resolves complex issues involving operations and environmental stewardship. Ensures operations comply with City, State and Federal regulations to protect the environment and ensure safe work practices. Presents the program’s policies and positions in meetings, negotiations, and communications with the public, citizen and industry groups, Mayor and City Council members, other government agencies, the media and other public forums within assigned area of authority.

Ensures employee productivity and effective use of resources by coaching, mentoring and training supervisory staff and building an effective team. Evaluates and documents performance of program managers and office staff, administers appropriate employee recognition and disciplinary actions. Develops technical specifications, project design and standards for procurement bids and proposals related to sanitation. Reviews bids and proposals and assists with the selection of contractors. Ensures contractor performance. Plays key roll establishing disaster and emergency preparedness program. Represents the department in public meetings and/or on various committees as directed. Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Management or closely related degree, plus six (6) years progressively responsible experience managing public programs including a minimum four (4) years in a supervisory capacity. A combination of six (6) years of directly related program and/or management experience may be substituted for the required education.

Thorough knowledge of materials, techniques, equipment, personnel management and best management practices associated with waste diversion, recycling, resource management, composting, and landfill operations.

Experience in budget preparation and administration, and ability to implement budget requirements into departmental operations.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected officials, department directors, employees, and the general public. Highly effective collaboration and communication skills.

Possession of a valid driver’s license or Utah driving privilege card, including the ability to travel between office and external locations.

Apply at SLCgov.com.

Nominate your business for a Zero Waste Award!

ARD-Square-Promo

The Utah Recycling Alliance (URA), is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual America Recycles Day Zero Waste Awards and Film Screening on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 South 200 West, SLC, UT). We will be recognizing local businesses, non-profits and government agencies which have set the standards for zero waste in the Salt Lake Valley. The evening will kick off with a presentation of Zero Waste Awards by EPA Region 8 Director Shaun McGrath. Following the awards ceremony, attendees will be invited to a screening of “Dive”.  A $5 admission includes one drink ticket, two raffle tickets, the awards ceremony, movie screening and an evening of Zero Waste revelry. Food available for purchase. All proceeds from the event will go to the Utah Recycling Alliance. Become a member of URA and receive free entrance ($25 annual membership fee).

Event Sponsors include: Ace Recycling and Disposal, Interwest Paper, Momentum Recycling, Rocky Mountain Recycling, Salt Lake City Corporation, and Uinta Brewing.

Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Location: Brewvies Cinema Pub – 677 South 200 West, Salt Lake City

Schedule of Events:

6:00 p.m. – Purchase ticket, grab a drink and mingle

6:45 p.m. – Raffle followed by awards ceremony. Raffle items include tickets to Alta, gift certificates to some of our favorite local restaurants and more!

7:00 p.m. – “Dive” film screening

 

Nominate your Organization for a Zero Waste Award

Please submit a one page description of how your organization handles its waste, answering any specific questions listed under the award description. The more convincing facts and evidence you provide to back up your claims the better.  Tell us what your waste stream consists of. How do you divert materials? Have you made changes to purchasing practices to impact the waste you produce?  Did you come up with some creative ways to use or reuse materials which reduces the waste you send to the landfill? Who are your end users (where do your materials go)? Please present evidence documenting your diversion rate using weight or volume measurements. Tell us why  you deserve this award.

Include the following with your submission:

  • Organization name:
  • Contact person at organization:
  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Which award you would like to be considered for: Zero Waste or PDC, Zero to Zero, Innovate Path to Zero Award.

Award Descriptions:

  • Zero Waste or PDC (Pretty Darn Close) – This award is presented to an organization or business which has achieved a 90% or above diversion rate. Documentation is key for this one.
  • Zero to Zero – This award is presented to the organization or business which has made the most progress over the last year or so. If you didn’t have a recycling program in place (not even collecting aluminum cans for the Boy Scouts) and have since started an exemplary recycling program, this award could be for you. Tell us where you started and what you have achieved. We don’t expect you to be at Zero Waste but moving in that direction.
  • Innovative Path to Zero – This award is presented to the organization which is actively moving towards zero waste, and has taken an innovative approach in repurposing materials, or has uncovered unique end-users for a particular waste stream.

A panel of independent judges will evaluate each of the entries and determine the award recipients.

All submissions must be sent to: utahrecyclingalliance@gmail.com by October 30th, 2014.

Zero Waste Awards & Trashed Film Screening

Hosted by the Utah Recycling Alliance (URA)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 South 200 West)

$5 admission includes one free drink ticket, two raffle tickets and an evening of entertainment! RSVP to the Facebook event.

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