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According to Republic Services (435.615.8311, recyclingsimplified.com), the company that collects curbside recycling, Summit County has room for improvement when it comes to recycling. Just a few bins contaminated with undesirables—plastic bags, Styrofoam, glass, liquids, or greasy pizza boxes—can result in an entire 15-ton load of mostly recyclables being turned to trash.

Fortunately, Recycle Utah (1951 Woodbine Way, 435.649.9698), Park City’s nonprofit recycling hub, alleviates the hard-to-recycle conundrum, accepting glass, Styrofoam, plastic bags, batteries, and e-waste so that they won’t end up in landfills and leach into groundwater.

To transform trash into treasure, Recycle Utah sends plastic bags and mixed plastic to a facility in Croydon that turns them into fuel for a cement factory. Water bottles and milk jugs land in Salt Lake City, where they become new plastic products, such as fleece. And that’s just the tip of the (melting) iceberg. This organization is constantly sourcing new ways to repurpose, reduce, reuse, recycle, and, in general, save the planet.

The best way to take care of tricky recyclables? Resist the urge to chuck glass, plastic bags, and Styrofoam in the landfill. Instead, deliver them to the friendly folks at Recycle Utah, and check out two new curbside programs: glass recycling via Momentum Recycling (801.355.0334, utah.momentumrecycling.com) and composting via Spoil to Soil (spoiltosoil.org). 

Quick Tips

Keep it loose (if you bag recyclables in plastic, that bag jams up the sorting machine)

No diapers, food-stained cardboard, or plastic bags

Clean out the containers (90% clean for Republic Services curbside pick-up and 80% clean for Recycle Utah drop-off), and make sure they’re dry

In 2018 Recycle Utah facilitated the recycling of:

856 tons of glass: Blue becomes decorative flooring, green and clear become fiberglass insulation, and brown is reborn as more brown bottles

648 tons of paper and cardboard

181 tons of metal

105 tons of soft plastic

6.2 tons of strofoam: White, clean, packaging Styrofoam (which is 95% air) is compressed into bricks for surfboards, SUP boards, and construction (repurposed, not recycled)

 

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