Thank you Waste & Recycling Workers! #GreenBlog

These sanitation staff play an essential role in any city. Waste management supports public health, and these services are critical to protecting the environment. Salt Lake City’s Waste & Recycling Division works diligently to provide these services – even during times of crisis – but their efforts are not always recognized. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us in thanking these employees by taking part in Waste & Recycling Workers Week!

Waste & Recycling Workers Week badge. Image features a black badge with gold frame and ribbon. The badge features a golden trash can with a recycling symbol in white above. The icons are surrounded by blue laurel leafs. The ribbon reads "Week of June 17" and below the badge reads "Waste & Recycling Workers Week" in blue and black lettering.

Uninterrupted Service

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered businesses and required residents to stay home, the Waste & Recycling Division’s teams have worked continuously to ensure that curbside collection and Call 2 Haul services have continued uninterrupted, even through a 5.7 earthquake and large aftershocks.

This has required many of the workers to take extra precautions while collecting waste, many working longer hours to get the work done.

Additionally, household waste has spiked with more people working from home to help flatten the curve. Indeed, between March and April this year, there was a 20% increase in refuse collected by ton, and a 148% increase in compost collected! As a result, our curbside cans are heavier than normal. The haulers often have to make extra trips to ensure everything gets properly cleared away.

Photo of child sitting on parent's shoulders to wave at Waste & Recycling crew member who is collecting refuse in one of the Salt Lake City garbage trucks. The truck drive is waving back at the child.
A young Rose Park resident shares a card with his route driver. Photo credit: Jen Seelig

What You Can Do

Say Thanks!

There are many ways to say thank you to our waste & recycling workers this week.

You can also write a chalk message for your hauler. Check out the fun artwork on the Mayor’s garbage bins:

Photo of SLC recycling bin with chalk decorations reading "Thanks for picking up" and different hearts.
Mayor Mendenhall’s chalk art message to Waste & Recycling workers.


Help Collection Run Smoothly

Refuse collection is challenging, especially when containers get too heavy and when materials aren’t sorted properly. You can help our teams make the collection process easier by remembering these rules for curbside collection:

  • Weight Limits: if you have heavy material like dirt, sod or rocks, you can fill your garbage container up to 25% full to ensure the container can be lifted without breaking. TIP: If you have a lot of heavy weight materials, divide it up over a few weeks!
  • 3 Foot Rule: Please make sure your containers are placed at least 3 feet away from vehicles or other objects to prevent any damage to property or the containers and to make it easier for our crews to collect your refuse.
  • What’s Recyclable? Proper recycling helps save energy and conserve resources. You can review the accepted recyclables here.
  • What’s Compostable? Composting is the most local form of recycling. In Salt Lake City, we turn your food scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich compost. You can learn all about what goes in the brown bin here.
  • Bulky Waste: If you’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning while staying at home, don’t forget that the Call 2 Haul program will collect your larger waste items like tires, appliances, or large bulky furniture. You can learn about Call 2 Haul and schedule your pick-up here.