As of January 2018, Salt Lake City changed its Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance to include businesses and multi-family properties. This means that multi-family properties that produce over four cubic yards of waste every week must have a recycling program, according to Salt Lake City Sustainability. The site states that businesses and multi-family properties create 50% of Salt Lake City’s waste but before the ordinance was changed, only about 10 to 15% was being recycled. Those in single-family homes must participate in curbside recycling and compost programs.
Salt Lake City has a goal to become zero waste by 2040. This means that all waste from the city is either recycled, reused, or composted, rather than ending up in a landfill. “That’s still the basic goal, and this ordinance was created in part to try and help us achieve that,” says David Johnston, the Waste and Recycling Permits Coordinator of Salt Lake City’s Department of Sustainability. “Bringing in these larger apartment buildings, these larger businesses so that they are recycling is a huge part of that.”
Salt Lake City residents who are not yet seeing recycling collection dumpsters available for their large apartments can move the process along. “The ordinance is pretty new, so there are certainly apartments and businesses out there that are not in compliance with it, and we from the beginning have taken an education first approach to this. We want people to understand why recycling is important and the value that it can bring to a community,” Johnston says.