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Got 'green waste'? Get a green can

Published September 16, 2013 5:10 pm

Refuse • Recycling District's plan is to reduce organic material in the garbage waste stream.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Midvale • The collection cans are coming in, appropriately colored bright green.

Now the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District is looking to sign up subscribers for weekly pickups of "green waste," mostly grass clippings but also other organic refuse from gardens, yards and kitchens.

Those collections are set to begin next spring.

"We're doing this because we had so much interest in it," said Coralee Moser, chairwoman of the district's board, on Monday after the first shipment of cans arrived at Salt Lake County's public works staging area.

A survey earlier this year found that 17 percent of the district's 81,000 customers — homeowners in unincorporated Salt Lake County, Taylorsville, Herriman, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay and part of Murray ­— were interested in separating their green waste from the basic garbage that goes into the district's black cans, Moser said.

That adds up to a lot of material, she added, noting that green waste accounts for 29 percent of what the district collects during the summer.

"If we can keep that out of the [garbage] waste stream and put it back into composting, it will decrease the amount of tonnage going into the landfill and lower the cost of collection," Moser said.

The district is providing a financial incentive for homeowners, especially those now using two black garbage cans.

Green cans may be rented for $114 per year, about $9.50 per month for collections between mid-March and mid-December, said District Executive Director Pam Roberts, emphasizing how much cheaper that is than the cost of a second black can — $180 annually.

That does not count a one-time setup fee of $60 to get the specially designed cans out into the neighborhoods.

These cans have been fitted with side vents that will slow down the rate of decomposition, Roberts noted, making the contents less mushy and easier to work with.

"We're not the first district with green cans, but the first to take advantage of this new technology," she said. "These vents take out some of the water so that we have a better product when it gets to the composter."

To sign up for a green-waste can, residents may call the district at 385-468-6325, send an email to green@wasatchfrontwaste.org or complete a form on its website, wasatchfrontwaste.org.

mikeg@sltrib.comTwitter: @sltribmikeg —

Green waste

Includes unbagged lawn and yard trimmings (grass clippings, branches, leaves, garden waste), fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags.

Does not include food, oils, fats, grease, paper or plastic bags.

Green cans will be emptied on the same days as garbage and recycling cans

Cans will be delivered to homes in the spring

The $60, nonrefundable fee will allow the district to buy more vented cans.

Source: Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District