April 18, 2014
Mayor Kelvin Cullimore
Office of the Mayor, City Hall
1265 E. Ft. Union Blvd.
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84047
Dear Mayor Cullimore,
Currently, along the Wasatch Front, our state and local governments have various types of recycling programs in place. Household curbside and center recycling collection is occurring in most all areas of Salt Lake County. (SLV Locations) Since the inception of our current curbside recycling program, our community has supported and participated in using their blue recycling containers with great success. Because of this positive support, the time has come to add green waste and glass curbside pick-up for residents of Cottonwood Heights.
- Living in Cottonwood Heights, our township currently offers curbside recycling for paper and cardboard products, aluminum, metal and specific types of plastic products. Cottonwood Heights Township partners with Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District for all their Sanitation Service. Wasatch Front Waste serves the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County and the cities of Taylorsville, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, Herriman, and a portion of Murray. They state their customer service has received a 98 percent overall satisfaction score among our customers. Our current sanitation fee is $14.75 per month for one black garbage can and one blue recycling container. (Recycling Rates-Fees) There are recycling guidelines residents must adhere to for this curbside service. The paper products allowed cannot be soiled, i.e. disposable diapers, used tissues, or containers with greasy food products or human soil. Metal cans and plastic bottles must be rinsed and clean before being put in the recycle garbage can.
- At the present time, there is no curbside collection of glass products or green waste in the township of Cottonwood Heights. Presently, residents can either dump their green waste and glass products into their black trash can, which goes directly to the local landfill or they can choose to load up their green waste and drive it to the composting facility at the landfill or drive to a glass drop off site to dispose of their glass waste. With gasoline prices climbing upwards, each household would have to take in consideration the personal expense and time needed to ‘do the right thing’ for the environment. Why is it time? Because every household in our community may not have the means to drive their green waste or glass to recycling centers, adding additional glass and green waste recycling to our curbside pick-up makes sense.
Consider the current volume of waste our nation has to deal with. In the United States, 1,500 aluminum cans are recycled every second. It takes 90 percent less energy to recycle those cans into new ones than it would take to produce a new one from scratch. Destroying plastic in an incinerator uses twice as much energy as recycling it would save. Glass bottles in use today will take over 4,000 years to decompose if they are not recycled. In the U.S., approximately 13.2 million tons of glass waste is generated annually and only 22% of all glass beverage containers are recycled. Every ton of glass that’s recycled saves 10 gallons of oil. (Recycling) For every positive recycling effort undertaken, there are far more negative examples of potential recyclable items going to landfills and dumps. Our nation, states and communities need to turn this trend around. It is time for local municipalities to offer more curbside recycling for all items that are considered recyclable.
- Each American throws away almost 1,200 lbs. of garbage that they could have composted. Glass bottles in use today will take over 4,000 years to decompose if they are not recycled. From 1991 to 1995, the number of landfills has declined by 49%. That is 2,833 less landfills in the U.S.
- It is time to take another step in capturing more recyclable household waste. We are seeing more local progress in providing curbside service to capture more types of recyclable waste. Recycling all glass and green waste in our Township can be very successful by p
- Those living within the boundaries of the city of Salt Lake City have recently started curbside glass collection. The city’s mayor, Ralph Becker, is a huge advocate for sustaining our earth’s resources and become more “green” in our consumption and disposal of goods. It is time for Cottonwood Heights Township to speak up to our elected officials to expand our recycling programs. It is time to do the right thing for our children and our society at large.
Recycling is good for the environment and good for the future sustainability of our earth’s natural resources. We need to be reminded that recycling wood and paper products means that fewer trees are cut down, recycling metal means that less land is destroyed for mining, recycling plastics conserves oil resources, reusing glass saves energy. By conserving our resources, we lessen our impact on the planet. We own this to our future generations who will have to manage what is left of our own carbon footprint. Our local government needs to provide more convenient recycling services for all recyclable garbage in our communities. Recycling needs to be a priority of our community.
Paula Rutter, Resident of Cottonwood Heights