Volunteer Highlights- Hal Cook | ParkRecord.com

Volunteer Highlights- Hal Cook

Sara Tabin, Park Record Intern
Hal Cook pushes a load of discarded cardboard boxes to be compacted. (Sara Tabin/Park Record)

Tucked off of Kearns Boulevard, Recycle Utah bustles with locals leaving their recyclables or discovering treasures at The Warehouse. Longtime volunteer Hal Cook stands at the ready in a beige t-shirt bearing the center’s logo. When a woman needs help moving her purchase, a toilet, to her car Cook eagerly stoops to assist.

He barely sits down when more patrons of the recycling center flock to him and he pauses to assist them in finding, purchasing, and lifting goods. When Cook finally finds a moment of freedom he smiles as he speaks about the hours he has put into the center.

"I like to meet the people and help them discover recycling. So many of them come in and they’ve never recycled before in their life," explained Cook.

Cook began volunteering at the recycling center in 2010 when he discovered a need in the community.

"We didn’t have curbside recycling back then, and I just saw all this glass and plastic and Styrofoam hanging out of everybody’s trash can every week and I thought there’s got to be a better way to do this."

He has since volunteered at least once a week not including the hours he puts in for special events and activities.

"(Hal)’s always at our events whether he’s just going to just participate and have fun or whether he’s helping out," relayed Hal’s supervisor, Tori Sowul.

Sowul highlights his dedication to the center and the genuine kindness he displays in his interactions with people as traits that set him apart as an exceptional volunteer.

"He’s always up front helping the community answer questions, telling them where materials go, and not just helping them here but also providing insight on why recycling is important and why we should take care of the Earth."

As Cook explains it, "I just didn’t see any reason to fill up our landfills with a lot of junk that we can certainly recycle and save the raw materials for our future benefit."

To any prospective volunteers, Hal suggests "come on over and give it a try. Once you get used to the people and process its infectious and you’ll want to come back and keep doing it."

To volunteer: contact Tori at 435-649-9698 or email tori@recycleutah.org.

Park City