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Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer display personal recycle bins in Baldwin's 2010 documentary "The Clean Bin Project." The film follows Baldwin and Rustemeyer as they attempt to live waste free for one year. (Image courtesy of Peg Leg Films)
Each year, Recycle Utah, Summit County's drop-off center, hosts one or two documentary screenings in collaboration with the Park City Film Series.

The films usually are centered on energy efficiency or alternative energy.

Last year, the nonprofit organization screened Michael Madsen's 2010 film "Into Eternity," which examined the nuclear-waste issue through the construction of the Onkalo Waste Repository at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland.

This year, Recycle Utah will start with a screening of Grant Baldwin's "The Clean Bin Project" at the Jim Santy Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m.

"We're focusing on trash and this film fits in perfectly because we just got a new garbage contract that includes a weekly garbage pickup and a bi-weekly pickup of certain recyclables in Summit County," said Insa Riepen, executive director of Recycle Utah.

The film is a fun and educational way about how to not create garbage.

"It follows a couple (Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer), who are from Canada, in their one-year quest not to make any waste, and as people will see that is a tough thing to do," Riepen said. "In one scene, (Jenny) goes shopping and tries to find a piece of cheese that is not wrapped in plastic and it's tough."

In another segment, Baldwin suffers injuries in an accident and has to go to the hospital.

"During his recovery, he had all sorts of garbage, like his neck brace, which was not recyclable, to deal with," Riepen said.

"The Clean Bin Project" also brings up the issue that the public, as consumers, accept any kind of trash that is connected with grocery shopping, hospital visits and in our everyday lives.


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"It also asks us if there is a way we can change," Riepen said. "It asks if it would be possible for people to generate only four pounds of trash every year, instead of four pounds of trash every day in the United States that has been reported by the Environmental Protection Agency."

The answer is yes, she said.

"But it can happen only if we really try, because the sad thing about those numbers is that 97 percent of the trash remains trash and only three percent of it is actually recycled," Riepen said. "So, how can we improve that? Well, we are screening the film to start a dialog about how we can do more."

Riepen said Summit County is lucky because it has a curbside recycling pick up for three categories of recyclables to roughly 80 percent of its residences.

"We aren't able to do pickups from all the residents, because some live in areas that are difficult to get to," she said. "But that is another story."

The three recyclable categories are fiber, metal and plastics:

  • Fiber is paper and paper products such as corrugated cardboard and paper board

  • Metal covers cans, including bean cans, tomato cans and soda cans

  • Plastics include water bottles and food containers.

    "Glass isn't being picked up curbside because in this type of co-mingled system would contaminate the load, because all the categories are put into one bin and then crushed down in a compactor truck," Riepen explained. "The glass breaks and, consequently, devalues the fiber products."

    Glass is also dangerous for Recycle Utah staff.

    "After the beautiful mess of recyclables gets compacted, it gets released onto a line where humans have to sort the materials into piles," Riepen said. "But we are also grateful that the county doesn't only support a curbside, co-mingled recycle program, but also supports a service contract with Recycle Utah to maintain a drop off recycle center that is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week."

    Prior to "The Clean Bin Project" screening, Recycle Utah staff will do a question-and-answer session and give filmgoers opportunities to win recycled goods.

    "We will not give out plastic water bottles, but we will give out stainless steel reusable bottles that you can use time and time again," Riepen said. "At the end of the screening, there will be a wrap-up explanation of the recycle options in Summit County.

    "We can do so much more," she said. "If we are committed to this way of life, it is possible to live waste free in Summit County. Just by taking all the things that you can recycle to Recycle Utah will take care of 90 percent of your garbage. So, that's something to think about."

    Recycle Utah will present a screening of Grant Baldwin's 2010 documentary "The Clean Bin Project" at the Jim Santy Auditorium in the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. All proceeds will support Recycle Utah. For more information, call (435) 649-9698 or visit www.recycleutah.org .