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Salt Lake City is considering recycling requirements for businesses and multi-family (apartment) units to increase recycling rates. What do you think of the proposed ordinance?

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53 registered statements

Prove to me that all the recycle is actually being recycled... It is about time. Yes, please! I recycle and compost. My trash bin goes to the street every other month and I would like to make that even less often. It's appalling to go to a business where the trash cans are full of items that are almost entirely recyclable or to visit a friend in an apartment who tosses everything in the trash because "I can't recycle here." I can't imagine any reason why we wouldn't require recycling from businesses and apartments. Before purchasing my home I lived in two apartment buildings and even though I wanted to recycle there were no facilities to do so and it made recycling prohibitively difficult. If businesses and apartments are going to make money in our city they should at minimum contribute to our sustainability efforts by recycling. Seems like a no brainer to me. The idea is great however based on discussion with some city sanitation employees there isn't adequate enforcement on current recycling endeavors so how will the city enforce the requirement. There will be added costs. Will this be self funded? We need to do it but recognize the effort. Great idea. I own a small business and do recycle as much as I can. It is possible to recycle for some small businesses thru the City . I have a blue can and pay $3 or $4 per month to have it picked up weekly. I think I can do this because I am in a mixed use area that has a regular residential pickup but probably couldn't if I wasn't so this ordinance is needed for the businesses/apartments that do not have this option or don't care. My only complaint about this Open City Hall topic is that as usual, they leave out some very important information concerning the recycling program. It is not just a feel good program. There is a very fiscally sound reason for doing it. One of the objects of the City's recycling program is to significantly extend the life of the landfill. The more we recycle the longer the landfill will last. Once the landfill is full, the next one will be incredibly expensive to procure and operate. It won't be in this valley hence it will be a really long way away (Tooele or Juab County if they allow it) and will require a huge amount of energy to transport refuse there. If this happens, maybe it could be an extension of TRAX to transport the thousands of tons of trash daily hundreds of miles away! I'm all for this. We should have started long ago. This proposed ordinance is very much needed! As someone who used to rent but had no recycling options, I also currently know many renters who currently have no residential recycling options because they live in apartment complexes that simply don't offer it. Requiring a recycling program won't pose a large burden for apartment owners and managers. And because so many city residents continue to live in apartments or condos, doing this should help the city to continue to significantly reduce its overall waste. However, it is important to make sure the educational components of this ordinance to residents is implemented effectively so that recycling contamination problems (mostly food waste getting mixed in) can be kept to a minimum. This is absolutely essential to require businesses and multi-family dwellings to recycle. These are the biggest producers of waste and the least likely to recycle unless they are required. Please approve this ordinance Yes, yes, and yes. This is great from two different perspectives: city image and sustainability. First, if SLC wants to be viewed as a truly progressive city that cares about our natural resources (i.e., Portland, San Francisco, NYC, etc.) , we have to have a mandate like this. There will be a natural resistance from conservative small businesses and landlords, but those initial road bumps will soon be smoothed over. People that move to SLC are shocked that this isn't already in place. Secondly, this is necessary to reduce the ridiculous amount of waste we toss in our landfill and influence generations of recyclers to come. Please pass this ordinance. Yes, I strongly support this. Salt Lake City Corporation has truly made recycling easier and convenient for all residents. There should be no reason why businesses and multi-tenant housing shouldn't be held accountable for their waste AND recycling. I fully support this ordinance. I know many residents of multifamily units who are frustrated that they can't recycle. They will welcome this ordinance even if it increases rents by a few dollars. I support this ordinance except for this provision: "Submit, annually, a copy of recycling collection service agreement to the City." This creates unnecessary bureaucracy. Enforcement should be handled by complaint, not paperwork. The manpower and resources to support this part of the ordinance are an unnecessary expense. I support requiring businesses and multi-family units to recycle. Salt Lake City should not be in the nanny business, why not enforce the current laws such as noise from motorcycles, loud car sound systems, stop signs and 25 MPH on 9th south and get the U of U game day parking off our residential streets. So who is the city trying to give a contract to? Whose relative is it? The city needs to get in the business of providing the services that cities provide and not thinking of ways to tax us further! I support this ordinance, although I do agree with the comment that the annual report is unnecessary and bureaucratic. I think this part of the recycling program will be easier to enforce than the residential part because customers, clients, and tenants will notice if everything is being tossed in the trash. I think this is an idea whose time has come. I was surprised that businesses and multi-family dwellings are not already required to do what residents have done for years. I'm shocked that there isn't already a requirement for businesses and multi-family units. Other than my shared concerns that adding an extra layer of bureaucracy by requiring an annual report may cause undo work. Although maybe if we required it for the first three years and phase it out after that time. This would allow tenants of both residential and commercial units to become accustomed to this service. Then if the landlord took it away at a future date their might be complaints. Overall this has my strong support. Are there examples of recycling programs actually working with multi-family housing? First of all, I support recycling unequivocally! I have lived in my townhome for over six years. During four of those six years, I served on the home-owners association board of our 92-unit complex. We have a total of four six-cubic-yard dumpsters for trash, which are emptied twice per week by a private refuse company. Being environmentally minded people, we decided as a board to try converting two of the four dumpsters to mixed-stream recycling. We tried as best as we could to spread the word in our community by distributing fliers door to door and making announcements in our newsletter. Unfortunately, most residents just kept dumping trash in the dumpsters designated for recycling. The refuse company eventually switched the two recycling dumpsters back to trash dumpsters. During the trial we were never able to produce a load of recycling that was uncontaminated-enough from trash to meet the requirements of the refuse company, so ever load of recycling actually went to the landfill! I agree with this ordinance but would also recommend against mandatory reporting. I support recycling 100%. I oppose all the bureaucracy - reports, fines for being a day! late, etc. I would also like to see some guarantee that fees won't be passed on to renters, many of whom are already struggling to pay rent. Businesses (except for very small ones) should be required to recycle. I also think we should have open and public bidding for the recycling contracts. And while you're at it, my "green waste" container won't even hold half the leaves from a .1 acre lot! What are we supposed to do with green waste if we have nowhere and no way to dispose of it? And can we PLEASE have curbside recycling for glass in SLC? I've lived in towns of 5,000 people and they managed it. Why can't we? If we can't manage residential recycling properly, maybe we're not ready to expand - although I still support the proposal with the above caveats. I think that all multi-family dwellings and businesses should be required to recycle. At this point, hauling services for mixed recyclables, green waste, and glass are available for every entity that produces waste in Salt Lake City and there is no excuse not to maximize the amount of waste that can be diverted from the landfill. A full scope of recycling makes our city look more environmentally friendly and progressive. Requiring multi-family dwellings and businesses to recycle is a long overdue step. I completely agree with maximizing the recycling of waste. I live in and own a 12 unit apartment building and replaced my 3 CY dumpster with 2-90 gallon private trash bins and 3-90 gallon city blue recycle bins. I still have some tenants who refuse to recycle even after much coaxing. In the fourplex next to my building the tenants refuse to recycle even with the city provided blue recycle bin and brown organic waste bin. I worry about this ordinance adding additional city bureaucracy and paperwork on businesses. I am also concerned that there will be too much contamination of the recycled waste in large residential complexes. I lived in Fairfax ,VA before moving to SLC and they have a $25 fine for repeat offenders of the recycling regulations (for instance contaminating the recycle bins with non recyclables). As a landlord, if I was levied a fine like that, I would track down the offending tenant and charge them. The city needs to research a way to get the renters to recycle. Maybe through the Good Landlord Program require leases to including recycling. The city already checks the bins leaving notes for offenders that are ignored or not seen by tenants. Better compliance would be achieved by levying a $25 fine for non compliance on repeat offenders. It is about time! As a tenant in a seven unit converted Victorian close to the University, I oversee our recycling efforts. We would not fall under this proposed ordinance because the total waste generated by the seven small apartments does not amount to more than one cubic yard per week. Nevertheless, I think my observations might be useful, and would scale up to large complexes. Of the one cubic yard per week, we sometimes fill one blue bin by week's end but often fall short of that. The garbage cans are picked up by a private service, the four of them together accounting for the other half a cubic yard. If you concluded from this that the recyclables to trash ratio is 50:50 you would be mistaken. That's the compliance ratio, not the actual ratio. Often, there are more recyclables in the garbage cans than in the blue bin. If everybody cooperated, our ratio could be 70:30 in favor of recyclables. What I've learned from direct inspection is that most of what is thrown into the garbage cans is recyclable packaging waste. Sometimes I pull this out of the cans, making sure it contains no food, and put it in the blue recycling bin, but I cease such efforts when garbage and bathroom wastes are mixed in, which quite often is the case. If all the tenants were conscientious, there would be more weeks when one blue bin would be insufficient without diligent compaction. The solution, as I see it, would scale up to businesses and multiple family complexes of any size. The solution is separation and compaction of recyclables at the time they are thrown away within the household or place of business. Separation alone is as easy as non separation. A flick of the wrist isn't any more trouble if aimed at the indoor recycling container instead of the garbage container. Separation of recyclables depends on awareness and conscientiousness, but it doesn't require any more trouble. If people separated their recyclables from their other trash when they threw things away, our garbage cans would seldom be full and our blue bin would always fill up by Sunday. Compaction, however, does take effort. Nobody in the seven units has a trash compactor and nobody does this by hand and foot but me. I am the defacto trash compactor for all seven compartments. Several times a week I inspect the blue bin to make sure all items therein are compliant (the most frequent violation is solid foam packing materials concealed within discarded packing boxes). While conducting a compliance inspection I compact boxes, plastic containers, and anything else that is essentially an enclosure of air. I have two poles for pounding down the waste to make more room. I will fish things out, like plastic bottles and aluminum cans, toss them to the asphalt and stomp them flat. I tear boxes into sheets of cardboard, and line the inside circumference of the blue bin with these sheets so they displace minimal volume. This oversight can be a bit of work, sometimes, work that I wish the tenants performed when they separated and crushed items within the household, in the act of throwing them away. I'm telling this personal anecdote to make the point that compliance begins at the moment packaging becomes trash, inside a household or business. Turning the screw on landlords isn't going to help much with meeting the city's recycling goals. I realize that in America, managing by force and coercion has a long tradition despite the fact that it seldom works. What the city needs to do is supply tenants in multiple family complexes with recycling collection containers for use within households, and have a similar policy of facilitation for businesses. These indoor containers should use the same traditional blue with the recycling logo. Families with children should be given coloring books for kids illustrating the recycling habit, the bins already colored blue. Propagandizing kids is a great way to control adults, as kids can be the conscience of the family. Complexes and businesses needing compactors for efficient use of blue bin volume should be aided by the city in some way. In summary, the take home lesson from my experience as a recycling manager in a small apartment building is that recycling begins in the home and the workplace. Make separation and compaction a habit by providing the tools. As a homeowner and apartment owner that insists on recycling from our tenants, I think this is a necessary move in the right direction. We should all be held accountable for our own waste. I do hope there will be some education funds that accompany this ordinance. It takes education to change our habits. I support extending recycling requirements to business and multi-family residences on the way to zero waste in 2040. I know people who are frustrated that their landlords don't provide a way to recycle. How hard would it be to offer city services as an option to conforming to this new mandate? I agree that all business and multi units should be required to recycle. Everyone must do their part, while st work and home. I fully support this effort. I would not require that copies of the contract be sent in annually. In addition to the extra bureaucracy, it seems that would generate a lot of paper for a program trying to minimize waste. I'm fully in favor of the new ordinance. Expanded recycling and composting would be a welcome addition to the city. I would also like to see a campaign to promote consuming and disposing of less waste overall. We need to be more sustainable and responsible with our waste within our community. I completely support requiring all businesses to recycle, even those with less than 4 cubic yards of waste produced per week. I think that for the smaller businesses the city could provide them (or a group of businesses in the same area) one or two 90 gallon blue bins and charge similar to what they would a single family residence with their water bill. I think though that that the multifamily units will be problematic. Too many of them are so old that they don't even have space (or screening) for the existing trash dumpster(s). Second, most of the tenants just don't give a care about separating their trash and will just use whatever can happens to be empty at the moment. Fining a hauling company, who will then fine the landlord, who will then increase rent for all his tenants rather than track down the offender (because it is easiest) is a waste of time and hurts housing affordability. I believe that it would be better to make it mandatory for all new multi-family developments to provide for recycling in this manner and exempt all existing ones. However, if a current landlord wishes to participate voluntarily we should have rules that would reduce any fines that may be levied against them. I fully support this proposal except as others have noted, the requirement to submit paperwork each year should not be included. I live in a 37 unit condo complex and we have been recycling for years ... and we added glass recycling over a year ago. Most everyone cooperates (there will always be those that just don't get it) and no one complained about the extra cost. I fully support this plan! I agree with the City's proposal that proof of compliance should be required every year. Furthermore, I strongly feel that tenants (as well as single-family home dwellers) should be held financially accountable for their non-recycling actions and/or recycling contamination. Apathy or ignorance are not valid reasons for tenants to put an undue burden on property owners or recycling companies. This program, however, needs to be affordable so we don't see an unrealistic rent increase for low-income people. How can the city prevent landlords from 'padding' the rents for this? Should this be charged as a separate fee with a city mandated cap on costs to the renter? Yes. Recycling should be a requirement. There should be fewer barriers to recycling then trash disposal. Both are necessary, but recycling should be incentivized over trash collection. I support this proposal but also express concern about annual filing of recycling agreement. Is this an unnecessary bureaucratic burden for small businesses and landlords? I think we need to be doing everything we possibly can to encourage a reduction in commercial and residential waste. Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback. We have a 31 unit property near the UofU and have provided two city blue containers adjacent to a smaller dumpster since we acquired the property. We also have several smaller rental units (all with brown and blue recycling bins). We explain our recycling policy to each tenant as they sign the lease and most comply with this. I do not welcome additional fees or costly resources being spent to force others to comply but would recommend the "carrot approach" similar to the "good landlord program" by providing a reduced cost incentive for those willing to comply. If landlords and/or property owners were given a more economical options that would reduce their waste costs by willingly screening their waste, I believe most would willingly comply. It only makes sense to collect recycling at points where greater amounts of waste are being generated. I work at One Utah Center and the only recycling available is what we do ourselves - by lugging the recycling home. The idea that a 25-floor building which generates quite literally tons of easily recyclable plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard waste that is all simply dumped into a single trash compactor and hauled to the landfill .... is in this age, ridiculous. And let's not even mention all the CFL bulbs tossed into the trash by the maintenance staff, etc. (kidding, obviously let's totally mention it). I can't speak out on reporting requirements, as I'd say we begin with making sure we provide the bins and that recycling is in everyone's mind. To that end - perhaps better reporting by the City on the successful transmutation of our recycling efforts NOW. How many tons of each product are being recycled from our existing bins - where did it go - how did it do the world some good (aside from not filling up a landfill). I'd like to see some positive news - regularly - about our recycling efforts. I personally take all the plastic and pressboard trash home from the 5 floors of our law firm, and fill two 90 gallon bins at home each week. Someone else takes the aluminum cans once a week, and our firm uses our van to haul cardboard to Metro Recycling. That's the effort at our law firm. We also save up e-waste (which we used to simply toss out) and now delivery hundreds of pounds each quarter to Metech Recycling. YES! I support this proposed ordinance. Let's get this going and reach that 50% goal for 2015! Yes! I hope this includes government offices. I work at the Capitol and they do plain paper recycling but you are not allowed to add in cardboard, etc. why on earth does a government building not recycle? Also... The cafeteria has a dish room and opts to not use it and puts everything in styrofoam, even for the many of us on site that could use regular dishes. Absurd!!! Make them act responsibly, please!!!!! I fully support this. I think recycling should be required city wide!!! The complex I live in has over 20 units and no recycling. It drives me nuts! I have to lug all of my recycling to work and save all of our glass to take it across town. I also think there needs to be a transition period so the city can cope with a substantial increase in pickups and routes. ie: require apts and businesses to have recycling by the end of 2014 or 2015. Better chance of them signing on in waves instead of all at once. Every apartment complex and every business in SLC should provide recycling facilities. I would love for Salt Lake to offer more recycling facilities. Ideally, everywhere you see a trash can that goes to landfill, you would see a recycling bin. People in apartment complexes should be recycling as well. Currently in my neighborhood, the majority of apartment complexes do NOT have a recycling options separate from Liberty Park. We need to educate children about the importance of recycling and then implement it in the homes as well. Thank you for proposing this new ordinance, it would be exciting for the city to move forward and divert less waste to landfills! First stop, recycling, next let's add recycling of glass in the regular recycling bins and compost bins for food scraps! This is a well-reasoned and long overdue ordinance with the potential to create a more sustainable Salt Lake City. Not for lack of awareness or desire to recycle, many in our city are frustrated that their landlords don't provide access to recycling. This is the right step as we look to reduce our waste incrementally towards zero by 2040. I applaud the substantial efforts of Mayor Becker, the City Council, and the many civil servants working to make Salt Lake City a sustainable place to years to come. I work at one of the high rises in downtown Salt Lake. Our building does not have a recycling pick up, except paper. They do pick up corrugated boxes, but I'm afraid to ask, and am pretty sure, that they just put these in the trash to go to the landfill. I hate the thought. So for 6+ years, I have taken a huge bag, every week, home with me and put it in my already quite full recycle bin. Not the corrugated boxes or even the pop cans (I take those to the recycle plant), or paper mind you, but the every day garbage from our small office that qualifies as recyclable. Now I don't have a car, so when I can, I use our company vehicle to take it home, or on the occasional times I have use of the family car. But, I have taken with me on my TRAX to bus commute home. This bag is usually us big as me! Why you ask - because it matters. Yes I do support this! Long overdue! Please, implement this! This is an excellent plan: reasonable and progressive. This is a goal that everybody should get behind - everyone wants to recycle. But for some people affected by the new mandate there will be significant costs involved. My advice: make it easy to do the right thing. The real success will come in how it is rolled out and communicated. Since this is a priority for Salt Lake City, it makes sense that the City should help mitigate some of the new costs that will be born by businesses and multi-family residences. I personally support this as a goal and I'm happy to personally recycle at my business and single family house. But if this community-wide approach is truly important to Salt Lake City's leaders, the City's own resources should be devoted to supporting the effort. City leaders should find a way to reimburse businesses and multi-family units for additional costs created by the proposal. As more and more people recycle the costs should come down for everyone so this start-up incentive doesn't have to last forever. But it would make it a much easier pill to swallow if there were some initial resources devoted to help covering initial costs. If you make it easy - and cost effective - to do the right thing, you will actually have allies and supporters in the business community. Everybody win! If you feel like this approach may be too expensive for the City, I would question whether it is really a high city priority. Some ideas about incentives to consider: you could offer a reduction off the new 13 percent property tax hike as a tax incentive / break to compensate for new recycling costs. . .or a reduction in the new street lighting fees, impact fees, property tax hike to pay for the public safety building ,etc. You could also offer grants or socialize the recycling service by taking them in house and providing business and multi-family recycling as a subsidized city service (like police+fire services, trash collection, snow removal etc.) This is great, I fully support it. Smart and powerful people of Salt Lake City, please make this happen. It will solve a problem so many people wish they had a solution for right now. Necessary and important! Our 8-apartment complex does not have recycling bins despite requests from renters. As a result we store it all in our apartments and then look for empty blue bins on our street on recycling day. Any chance we could also fine people for not recycling? PLEASE PASS THIS ORDINANCE. We have citizens who desperately want to recycle, but are trapped in buildings without the necessary receptacles to do so. Also: FACT: In 2011 (3 years ago mind you, but latest data I could find), the State of Utah generated 2,071,732 tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). - - This equates to 4,143,464,000 pounds, or in other words 7,883.3 pounds PER MINUTE. Ask yourself: where is it all going? - Answer: it is going to a landfill that is getting bigger & bigger & bigger. This is not sustainable, and business & multi-family units create a large percentage of this waste. FACT: Landfills add to poor air quality. From the EPA's website: "Possibly the biggest health and environmental concerns are related to the uncontrolled surface emissions of LFG (landfill gas) into the air. LFG contains carbon dioxide, methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), and odorous compounds that can adversely affect public health and the environment. For example, carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases that CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE." - They of course also cause soil & groundwater pollution. THINK of all of the resources we're letting slip away into landfills each & every day! For example, take an aluminum can: How many times can aluminum cans be recycled? - ANSWER: Indefinitely. - Aluminum cans have no limit on the number of times they can be recycled. They can also be recycled very quickly: 1 aluminum can can be made into another in as little as 60-days (source: Aluminum Association). The LARGEST LANDFILL IN THE COUNTRY (Puente Hills in California) JUST CLOSED in October. So you ask, where's it going? (...if it were nuclear waste, you'd probably guess Utah...) - Well, it is now being placed on COAL-BURNING TRAINS to be transported 200-miles away and stuffed in an abandoned gold mine. Then after that, where to?... - - Let's not follow their lead! This ordinance represents the tip of the iceberg: next up, we tackle curbside composting, more e-Waste recycling locations, building demolition/construction refuse, etc. I think offering recycling in apartment buildings and more businesses is a wonderful idea. Every time I have lived in an apartment in the last 6 years not once was recycling offered. By requiring to at least having the bins is a huge step towards people using the bins. Also posting what can and cant be recycled to each tenant makes them aware of what they can do to help recycle more. B

Name not shown inside Council District 2

January 30, 2014, 10:30 AM

Jason Utgaard inside Council District 5

January 30, 2014, 12:38 AM

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January 17, 2014, 1:39 PM

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January 11, 2014, 3:57 PM

Jason Mathis inside Council District 4

January 9, 2014, 12:33 PM

Nick Steffens inside Council District 4

December 22, 2013, 3:02 PM

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December 17, 2013, 10:42 AM

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December 3, 2013, 7:37 AM

Matthew Kirkegaard inside Council District 6

November 21, 2013, 5:30 PM

Mercedes Hunt inside Council District 5

November 21, 2013, 10:42 AM

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