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Summit County

Earth Day events expand to include volunteer opportunities for weeks to come

Recycle Utah Household Hazardous Waste.jpg
Renai Bodley Miller
Recycle Utah Hazardous Waste Drop Off

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, and there are opportunities to celebrate this weekend. More Earth week activities are scheduled throughout April and May, and volunteers will be needed.

Next to Christmas, Recycle Utah Executive Director Carolyn Wawra said Earth Week is the busiest time of the year for her organization.

A party and fundraiser at Wasatch Brew Pub Friday from 5 to 8 P.M is among the events planned.

“And pre-COVID, Wasatch is a great partner of ours, and we're happy to have them back in hosting this event. Tickets are $35.00. So, that includes two drinks, food, live music, and a silent auction. And all proceeds from this event go to support our education programs. A lot of people might not know that we spend a ton of time in the schools. We educate about 5,000 elementary students every year so this helps get us into the schools and teach kids about everything from natural resources to climate change.”

Pride in Your Park returns this year after a COVID-19 two-year hiatus. Wawra said the event has shifted to encompass various groups that host community clean-up projects. Wawra explained COVID changed things for the better.

“But now, our cleanup’s kind of just involve different groups all the time. Like coming up this weekend, there's a cleanup that Swaner is hosting out at Swaner Eco Center. Rossignol is hosting a cleanup on Friday. Really the best spot to go to is to check our website. There's probably a cleanup every weekend between now and Memorial Day, so everybody can find a time to get out. And if that time doesn't work for you, or you'd rather clean up your own area, you can give us a call at Recycle Utah, and we will lend out our pickup sticks, safety vests, and trash bags and let you go to town on your own spot.”

The Sunrise Rotary and Recycle Utah partner in a household hazardous waste collection event twice a year.

Deputy County Manager Janna Young serves as the Sunrise Rotary Hazardous Waste Collection co-chair this year.

“But it also hits several of Rotary International’s seven focus areas, including providing clean water and protecting the environment. We also have a sustainability committee in our club, and we're focusing more and more on water issues, as these are becoming a bigger concern here in our very arid, dry state of Utah.” 

There is no charge for Summit County residents, but Young said it costs about $30,000 to hold the hazardous waste event. Sunrise Rotary members raise money to cover the costs and provide about 40 volunteers to manage the event.

The rule of thumb, according to Wawra, is if you don’t want to drink it, bring it to them on the hazmat drop-off day for proper disposal.

“The cabinet under your sink or in your garage. Maybe your medicine cabinet and things like paints, varnishes, motor oil, antifreeze, batteries, gasoline, fertilizers, pesticides, and I did want to touch on pharmaceuticals. If it's a pill, bring it in. If it's your allergy pill, your vitamin, or if it's expired, or you don't even know what it is, just bring that in. To get that out of your water and then get the water clean to be back into our stream is a pretty difficult process. So never flush anything. Bring it to this event.”

There is a $20 fee to drop off a mattress, but everything else is free to residents. Commercial or business drop-offs will not be accepted, and Wawra emphasized that they know when companies try to present themselves as residents.

The household hazardous waste drop-off event is from 9 to 1 on Saturday, April 30, at the Cabriolet parking lot at the bottom of Canyons. If you miss the drop-off day at the Canyons, the Summit County Landfill in Wanship on Three Mile Canyon Road is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.