Recycle Utah will celebrate America Recycle Day
November 11, 2014
Recycling is all about protecting the watershed.
"If you send toxic waste to the landfill, it will eventually leech into the soil," said Tori Sowul, outreach coordinator for Recycle Utah. "From there it will seep into the water and eventually get into the ground water. So it’s super important to keep this waste out of the landfill."
This is something Sowul and the staff at Recycle Utah want to convey during its annual America Recycles Day party on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
"It’s a party that’s happening all over the country," Sowul said. "And it’s free and open to the public."
The day will start with a continental breakfast of muffins, bagels and coffee.
"Then we will also offer behind-the-scenes tours of our facility," Sowul said. "So if anyone has any questions about recycling, or about the programs we offer, we’ll be able to show them the answers."
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One of the topics to be addressed is that recycling is more than just putting an empty paper cup in a recycling bin, according to Sowul.
"It’s really about sorting the waste and how efficiently people can sort," she said. "At Recycle Utah, we are all about sorting."
As Park City’s only non-profit community recycling center, Recycle Utah accepts 50 different items that can be recycled.
"We accept a lot more than what is collected at curbside bins," Sowul said. "Not only do we accept glass, paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum and scrap metal, but we have unique collection programs that accept batteries, mercury-containing items, corks, glasses, even bras and old flags."
Recycle Utah also accepts used skis.
"These are items that aren’t regularly accepted elsewhere," she said. "So it’s worth checking out our unique programs to see what can be recycled and reused, rather than just thrown away."
During the tours, the public will have the opportunity to see the various compactors Recycle Utah uses to compress cardboard and other materials.
"People will be able to see the bales of the plastic and cardboard, which is really cool, because you can really understand the density it compacts to in order for it to be recycled," Sowul said. "We also have a compactor that shreds and compacts packaging foam, known commonly as Styrofoam, on site. That’s a rarity, because the foam can’t go into the roadside bin and it requires a complex system to recycle it right."
Another form of recyclable waste Recycle Utah accepts is e-waste, which is electronic waste.
"We accept anything from TVs, monitors, computers, laptops, cellphones, cords and cables," Sowul said. "These are usually items that are obsolete or the trend isn’t in. There is such an abundance of these items because new models are released every three months or so. So it’s a unique waste stream, but it’s also very toxic. Many of these items contain mercury and lead."
After Recycle Utah collects the e-waste, it is sent to Met Tech in Salt Lake City.
"It’s all about reducing our waste and increasing our recycling and going beyond our curbside bins and really making a conscious effort to recycle," Sowul said. "Recycling only works if materials are separated, the more separation you have, the better the end-use is. The Recycle Utah expects you to separate, making recycling easier."