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It’s the most wonderful, and busiest, time of the year at Recycle Utah

Recycle Utah

Online shopping creates an enormous amount of waste but all that packaging doesn’t have to go in the landfill. Recycle Utah will take your cardboard and plastic foam.

The holiday shopping unofficially begins with Black Friday Nov. 25 and Cyber Monday Nov. 28. Online purchases arrive in cardboard, which means more trips to the recycling center for many people.

FULL INTERVIEW: Don't toss it! Recycle Utah wants your packaging

Recycle Utah Executive Director Carolyn Wawra said the holidays are the center’s busiest season and it’s already begun.

“I think that we're kind of starting in the season when there's deals online and people are online shopping or see stuff a little bit earlier in kind of the busy season, really," she said. "It's kind of running now kind of Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. It's a pretty long stretch of just a lot more volumes than normal and a lot of cardboard.”

The recycling center accepts seasonal items. In the summer it collected bicycle tires and planter pots and in the winter it takes skis, snowboards and poles for recycling, but boots and helmets are landfill items.

“If you think about a ski boot, there's a lot of mixed materials there,” Wawra said. “The metal screws on the bottom, there's the foam padding inside, maybe metal bucket buckles and then plastic. Really, the combination of a lot of different materials make something like that unrecyclable. And then a helmet, I think helmets expire. I'd hate to have somebody putting a used helmet on. Again, that's not a recyclable item and unsafe to use a used helmet.”

Wawra said PFAS ski wax is on the list of items that can be recycled and to be on the lookout for certain ingredients that make it toxic.

“Some of the words you're looking for on the wax are 'polyvinyl,' 'polychloride,' that kind of stuff," she said. "If you're not sure, bring it in and we'll help you figure it out."

Recycle Utah is also working with a ski company to roll out a take-back program where skiers bring in their toxic wax and receive a coupon to buy safe wax online.

Wawra said there are a few reminders for people visiting the center during its busy times.

“Be patient with others at the center, be patient with the staff," she said. "Have a little environmental awareness, no idling when you're waiting in line, you know, you’re already dressed up to do your recycling. And you know, just turn off your car while you wait. And then it always helps to presort your items.”  

Recycle Utah will close for the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. and re-open Friday, Nov. 25 at 8 a.m.

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