City Beat

SLC Reaches for Goal of Zero Waste

Salt Lake City is taking its sustainability efforts a step further with a proposed “Zero Waste” resolution before the city council. It calls for residents to use city programs that are already in place and promote sustainable use of resources in order to reduce or divert waste by recycling. Recycling Program Manager Debbie Lyons says right now, the city is recycling or composting about 33 percent of residential waste, which has increased thanks to curbside recycling and the yard waste program.

(KCPW News) Salt Lake City is taking its sustainability efforts a step further with a proposed “Zero Waste” resolution before the city council. It calls for residents to use city programs that are already in place and promote sustainable use of resources in order to reduce or divert waste by recycling. Recycling Program Manager Debbie Lyons says right now, the city is recycling or composting about 33 percent of residential waste, which has increased thanks to curbside recycling and the yard waste program.

“We certainly want to encourage residents to use their recycling containers as much as possible and divert compostable waste either through either backyard composting or through our yard waste program,” she explains, “as well as looking at measures that they can reduce their waste internally, by using reusable bags or drinking tap water instead of bottled water.”

Lyons says the resolution looks at potential waste from a positive standpoint.

“These materials are seen as resources that can be reintroduced into the market, creating jobs and businesses. They’re valuable materials that if we just look at them in a different way,” says Lyons. “We could get more use out of them. It’s well documented that recycling saves energy and water and other natural resources.”

The proposed resolution calls for the city to adopt a goal of recycling 50 percent of its waste by 2015, 70 percent by 2025, and to completely eliminate waste by 2040. It also directs the Department of Public Services to prepare a Zero Waste strategic plan by the end of next year.

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