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Curbside Glass Recycling Debuts in Salt Lake County

Wasatch Waste and Recycling District
The Wasatch Waste and Recycling District is adding gray bins to the options for its customers. The service debuts in a couple of East Side neighborhoods now, with possible expansion to other parts of the valley as the demand grows.

Salt Lake City has offered curbside glass recycling for almost three years. Now the service is debuting in a few county neighborhoods, where recycling glass has meant a trip to those big recycling bins scattered in parking lots around the valley.

That’s beginning to change with a new program launched this week by the Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District that’s brought curbside glass recycling pickup to 70 residents in the Canyon Rim and Emigration Canyon neighborhoods.

“The way it works for the resident is they will once a month put their gray glass recycling bin out just like they do with all of their normal carts,” says Jeff Summerhays, the recycling district’s sustainability coordinator.

He says the district’s corporate partner, Momentum Recycling, will send out reminders before picking up the 36-gallon barrels on a set day each month. The initial cost is $45 for the barrel, then $8 a month for pickup service.

If you eat lots of food packed in glass or drink lots of glass-bottled beverages, Summerhays says, “then this is for you. And this is something that will hopefully help divert stuff from the landfill.”

Those parking lot glass-recycling containers fill up with about 1.6 million pounds of glass each year.

Customers have been clamoring for the convenience of curbside service. And, if enough people sign up, he says, curbside pickups will expand to Cottonwood Heights and Holladay next spring, and eventually beyond the East Side.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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