Renting an apartment in Salt Lake City means you will enjoy the many benefits of city living. However, one of the drawbacks many apartment dwellers are all too familiar with is the ability to recycle trash. With so many advances in the items that we can recycle, it almost seems obscene that a large multi-family apartment complex does not recycle.
According to the latest City Weekly article:
No exact numbers exist for how many multi-family apartment complexes in Salt Lake City lack recycling bins. But according to a city survey conducted in 2012, only 10 percent of waste from all of the city’s businesses and its apartment complexes is recycled. And because roughly 50 percent of the waste in the city is generated by businesses—this lack of recycling poses a real threat to the city’s goal of becoming a zero-waste city by 2040.
Recently, Salt Lake City has decided to pass a number of ordinances to make changes to the Salt Lake City recycling landscape. However, it has many small business and apartment owners worried about the cost to renovate in order to fit a recycling bin onto their property.
The ordinance is arriving at an awkward moment in the recycling world, says Matt Stalsberg, owner and general manager of ACE Recycling & Disposal, the largest independent trash and recycling hauler in the city. While passage of the ordinance would result in more business for ACE, Stalsberg says space restrictions, increased truck traffic and a worldwide market that is currently oversaturated with recyclables, all contribute to his subdued enthusiasm.
“Many other cities have adopted these types of programs, and we have enough infrastructure now that we could easily handle a mandatory amount,” Stalsberg says. “Whether I’m for it or not is questionable. The space is already such a huge issue in Salt Lake.”
Stalsberg says that many of his clients have a difficult time fitting one bin on their property and will struggle to fit two. And in Salt Lake City, trash disposal rates at landfills are still a bargain, Stalsberg says, making it even less desirable for business owners to go out of their way to provide recycling.
“Unfortunately, that is what’s most economical for us at this time,” Stalsberg says of dumping garbage in the landfill.
But Stalsberg says the city is on the right path, and as a garbage hauler, he understands the importance of diverting waste away from the landfill. “I think that what they’re asking is pretty reasonable,” he says. “For a mandatory program, I think it’s pretty well put together.”*