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Recycle Utah Gives Tips On How To Properly Recycle After Christmas

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Recycle Utah
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Ahead of the one of busiest weeks of the year for Recycle Utah, the organizations director Carolyn Wawra stopped by KPCW and gave listeners a few tips.

Recycle Utah director Carolyn Wawra lets listeners know the dates that they are closed due to the Holidays.

“We’ll be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day and we’re going to close at 4:00 leading up into that on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. We tend to get kind of quiet at nights right now because it’s cold and dark and hard to recycle in the dark. Hopefully that won’t inconvenience too many people too much. We do close, we block off the parking lot to do your recycling that’s pretty difficult, so we just encourage you to wait till a day we’re open.”

Wawra emphasizes that those looking to recycle Christmas packaging come to the recycling center prepared.

"Pre-sort. If it’s at your home and you’re opening Christmas presents it can be super exciting, the kids are all super excited. If you can pull the bow’s off the paper before you come to the center it’s going to be so much easier. I feel like the day after Christmas the unlucky person has to bring all the recycling to the center and then they start dumping that whole bag of wrapping paper in the paper bin. I say, ‘Are there any bows in here?’ they’ll say ‘No…’ and I say “No there are bows, you need to take a step back, take all those bows off.’ You don’t want to be standing outside in the cold pulling bows off your paper. It’s just a lot easier, take the bows off ahead of time. Slow down on Christmas or do all the fun of opening presents and then when you feel like you need to move a little bit after sitting around and having coffee and yummy breakfast on Christmas morning. Take a second and pre-sort in the comfort of your own house, it makes it so much easier.”

Wawra says that cardboard is also an issue.

“That goes for cardboard also. We’ve seen a lot of Styrofoam in with cardboard and someone throws a whole thing into the compacter. We can’t have that. In order to insure our stuff gets recycled we need to keep the loads clean. If it’s a load of cardboard, it’s legitimately a load of cardboard. It doesn’t have Styrofoam in it or plastic bags. Same thing with the mixed paper bin. If it’s a mixed paper bin it needs to be all paper. No ribbons, no bows, no plastic. That helps us a lot it helps you eventually if you come to the recycle center if you can have it all sorted ahead of time. It’ll make your trip a quarter of the time it’s a big difference.”

The week is not only busy but expensive for the nonprofit.

“We did a little cost comparison last week. The week after Christmas, the seven days after Christmas costs us $5,000 to process everything that comes to us. If every car that came in gave us a dollar, we’d be able to cover our costs. Really something to think about when you come visit. Everything does have a cost. To get it recycled it’s mostly hauling it to the recycler even if the commodity does have value, we still have to pay to get it to them and value their services and procesing for us and turning it into something new.”

Wawra also previewed the Green Business Awards. Which will take place on the evening of January 8th. There are five finalists for the Green Business of the Year award.

“Between the Christian Center, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, River Horse, and Twisted Fern we will choose two winners. We have a panel of judges right now reviewing all their applications and seeing who’s deserving of those awards. We also do have a new thing this year it’s called the People’s Choice Award. If you go to our website anybody can vote on any of the 70 businesses. So, if you’re a business in the Green Business program we definitely encourage you to get your supporters out voting for you. Anybody’s eligible for that and anybody can vote for that.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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