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Got empty liquor bottles? Salt Lake City wine store has new bins for glass recycling

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Gibbs and Jason Utgaard of Momentum Recycling install a glass recycling station at the State Wine Store in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Thousands of bottles filled with beer, wine and liquor are sold annually at the Salt Lake City wine store at 280 W. Harris Ave.

At least some of those glass containers may get returned — empty, of course —with Tuesday’s installation of blue recycling bins.

“It’s a logical place for people to bring empties,” said John Lair, president and CEO of Momentum Recycling, which is working with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on the recycling project.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jason Utgaard and Michael Gibbs of Momentum Recycling install a glass recycling station at the State Wine Store in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Data show that glass recycling bins at liquor stores “work fabulously,” he said.

Consumer can place any type of glass — not just liquor bottles — in the bins. All colors of glass are accepted, including clear, green and brown. Initially, the bins will be emptied about once a week — but more if use is high.

Lair said Momentum is the largest glass recycling company in Utah, with 70 recycling sites from Springville to Smithfield. The company sorts and cleans the glass and then ships it to a plant in Nephi where it will be turned into fiberglass insulation.

Customer Al Young helped initiate the DABC recycling program. He moved to Utah five years ago from Australia, where glass recycling is prevalent.

“I couldn’t believe they didn’t have recycling,” Young said, as he watched crews install the four blue bins in the southwest corner of the wine store parking lot. An avid recycler, Young said putting the glass in the trash “has just been terrible.”

He called DABC regional manager Val Dunaway and suggested she contact Momentum Recycling.

The DABC will keep watch and, if the program is popular, consider expanding it, said spokesman Terry Wood, although not all 45 stores could accommodate the bins. Some have parking lots that are too small and others are on leased property that would require approval from the landowner.

Still, where the bins are installed, it is a “win-win for the environment and the taxpayer,“ Wood said, as the bins and collection are free to the DABC.

The DABC already recycles glass and cardboard shipping boxes at its main Salt Lake City warehouse. In the past, it also has distributed reusable fabric shopping bags.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Gibbs and Jason Utgaard of Momentum Recycling install a glass recycling station at the State Wine Store in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

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