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First Annual Utah "America Recycles Day" Has Humble Beginning

Bob Nelson

The America Recycles Day in Utah was held today at the South Towne Expo Center. If the size of the crowd at the first annual event was any indication, Utahns are not very excited about recycling. But Brad Mertz, the Executive Director of the Recycling Coalition of Utah says using things over and over again is just the right thing to do.

“It costs a lot of money to throw stuff away. Anytime you have to build a new landfill, it’s millions and millions of dollars that taxpayers have to come up with. Recycling still does cost, but not as much as throwing it away,” says Mertz.

Correy Selden of Salt Lake Valley-based Momentum Recycling says until recently there were few options in Utah for residents to recycle glass. He says it now makes economic and environmental sense to keep glass out of the landfills.

Credit Bob Nelson
Executive Director of the Recycling Coalition of Utah addresses attendees of Utah "America Recycles Day" at South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy.

“This is available," says Selden.  "People should be doing this and it does, it makes an incredible impact locally.”

Ashley Yoder, coordinator of the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility, says as the winter season hits the Salt Lake Valley, it’s important to note that recycling reduces greenhouse gases. She says a national recycling rate of 30 percent can cut greenhouse gas by as much as 65 percent through reduced energy consumption, water use and motor vehicle emissions.  She says Salt Lake County is challenging residents to increase recycling by 20 percent over the next two years and match the national rate of 34 percent.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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