Recycle Utah gets Uncorked with annual fundraiser
Recycle Utah wants to offer continuous glass recycling for Summit County.
The nonprofit organization has recycled glass on and off for the past 24 ½ years, and would like to make it a permanent service.
The trick, however, is the logistics.
"We would do it when we had someone to deliver our bin to the Salt Lake valley," said Insa Riepen, Recycle Utah executive director. "We would collect the glass here and then transport it down the canyon, but we couldn’t guarantee that we could do it because we needed to contract the haulers and the sorters."
That’s why Recycle Utah began hosting its Uncorked fundraiser three years ago.
The event, which will be held this year on Friday, July 18, features food, drinks, live music and other goodies that will help raise money to benefit the glass recycling program.
The music will be provided by locally based singer songwriter Bryon Friedman and a group called Sugar Town Alley, said Tori Sowul, outreach coordinator with Recycle Utah who helped organize this year’s fundraiser.
"Sugar Town Alley is based in Salt Lake City," Sowul said. "They are awesome and put on a show more than a concert. They dress up and throw around confetti and they are really fun."
Friedman, who also owns Soul Poles ski pole company, will open the show, she said.
"Soul Poles will be there with a mobile shop and will offer custom Recycle Utah and Bamboozie poles and a percentage of the sales will go to Recycle Utah," Sowul said. "It will be fun."
Five Wives Vodka and Shades of Pale Brewery will provide the libations and Top Shelf Services will provide food by Gateway Grille, according to Sowul.
"We will also have Spread Stoke, an action-sports, online blogging forum from Park City, here to let people know what they offer," she said.
Recycle Utah’s James D’Angelo started the whole Uncorked concept.
"Three years ago, we thought about what we could add into the fundraiser repertoire that would be fun," D’Angelo said. "I’m a big music fan and musician myself and thought it would be a great idea to have a concert here.
"It’s a funky place and it’s super cool and industrial," he said. "There isn’t a venue like this anywhere, so I thought it would be fun."
The first year was held at the end of the summer.
"We had some good attendance, but decided to move the date up the next year to the middle of summer, when the daylight last longer," D’Angelo said. "We had more people attend, so we’re expecting even more attendance this year. We hope people will come out and support us and come out and have fun."
Admission is $5 at the door.
"People don’t need to buy tickets in advance," according to D’Angelo. "They just have to show up."
To show why a fundraiser is needed, Riepen reported that Recycle Utah recycled 702,780 pounds of glass from Nov. 2012 to April 2013.
"That’s almost 352 tons of glass total," she said. "That rounds up to an average of 141,000 pounds of glass a month."
The glass collected at Recycle Utah is transported to Momentum Recycling.
"The glass bin is our heaviest bin to pull," Riepen said. "It weighs between seven and 10 tons, and we have to tarp it, so it’s very labor intensive."
Park City doesn’t offer curbside recycling for a number of reasons, she said.
"First of all, glass breaks," Riepen explained. "The mechanisms in the trucks that collect the other recyclables — paper, plastics, aluminum cans or the corrugated cardboard —would be impacted negatively. All the material would be downgraded if glass got into them."
Secondly, the facility that accepts the curbside materials is not equipped to sort glass.
"When we do our glass recycling, we pay our hauler and sorter," Riepen said. "So that’s why we need to host a fundraiser."
The sad thing, according to Riepen, is that glass is fully recyclable, and doesn’t need to be in our landfills.
"It doesn’t have a reaction with chemicals," she said. "It doesn’t create any harmful toxins. It’s not dangerous to ground-water sources, but it’s not biodegradable and takes up space."
Another thing that makes glass more difficult to recycle is that it, too, needs to be sorted within itself.
"Beer is bottled in brown glass," Riepen said. "Wine and champagne is stored in green glass."
Still, recycling glass does have its benefits, in addition to keeping the landfills clear, she joked.
"Crushing glass is such a great service," Riepen said, smiling. "It relieves stress. A psychologist will charge you $125 per hour, but we would appreciate one dollar for the psychological benefit to crush glass.
"We want to continue to offer our glass recycle service to Park City," she said. "That’s why we have to host a fundraiser."
Recycle Utah’s Uncorked fundraiser will be held on Friday, July 18, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way. Admission is $5 at the gate. For more information, visit http://www.recycleutah.org.
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