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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Health Department and inmates doing community service spent the day cleaning out homeless encampments on the north side of Salt Lake City, Tuesday April 22, 2014.
Salt Lake County inmates clean transient trash for Earth Day
First Published Apr 22 2014 02:55 pm • Last Updated Apr 23 2014 10:04 am

Being held in the Salt Lake County Jail doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Earth Day.

Inmates marked the day Tuesday by joining staff from the environmental health division of the Salt Lake County Health Department to clean up transient camps in the north foothills of Salt Lake City.

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The camps can harm the environment and pose public health risks, including human waste left due to the lack of bathrooms and the buildup of trash, which can include drug paraphernalia.

The effort followed reports of illegal camping, the department said in a statement.

READ MORE: Watch your step in Salt Lake County’s tent towns

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams joined department staff to host their 5th Annual Earth Day Festival. Students from elementary schools near the environmental health division offices in Murray were invited to learn about sustainability, environmentally friendly practices and what the division does in Salt Lake County.

Nearly 500 elementary-aged students were scheduled to attend throughout the day, visiting the division’s community garden and fruit orchard, learning about recycling and planting seedlings of their own to take home.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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