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Recycle Utah prepares for busy holiday season

Plastic bottle recycling
Recycle Utah saw a decrease of more than 5% in materials it received to be recycled in 2023.

With the holiday season here, the next two months will be the busiest months of the year for Recycle Utah.

Recycle Utah Executive Director Carolyn Wawra says they are staffed up and ready to tackle the next eight weeks in which the recycling center collects a quarter of its total cardboard load for the year.

“We do see our highest volumes of materials during the holidays,” Wawra said. “Now to put that in perspective, we do about a million pounds of cardboard a year and we see about 200,000 pounds of that during the holiday season. So, between now and the end of January, we're probably going see that a quarter of the year’s worth of cardboard in the two months over the holidays. It's just the way that we kind of do business now.”

To help cut that down, she suggests trying to avoid online ordering and encourages shopping locally.

“Shop local and you automatically have less packaging. You also support a local business so that's good, you know, in terms of being a small community and supporting our neighbors, and then kind of be aware of how things are packaged,” she said.

The holidays also seem to be the time of year that the glass bins fill more quickly. During the pandemic, she says they saw their glass bin fill in a single day. And while that hasn’t happened since, she said people tend to drink more beverages in glass bottles this time of year.

In addition to the glass bins at the recycling center, there are also glass collection bins at the Triumph Gear Systems near Silver Creek Village and another at the Jeremy Ranch park and ride lot.

The holidays also mean center closures.

“We are closed this coming week on Thanksgiving Day,” she said. “And then we'll be closed again on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And what a closure means for us is the night before when we leave, we kind of barricade the lock closed and then it doesn't open till we come back the following day. So that this week, we’re going to close up the lot and we won't open it again until Friday morning about 8:30 in the morning. So, OK, plan ahead if you need to do recycling.”

If you have extra time around the holidays to volunteer, she says she can put you to work, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. You can call the center for details at 435-649-9698.

Recycle Utah also accepts used household goods, as long as they’re in good condition and sellable, for its thrift store. No clothing or bedding is accepted.