Curbside glass recycling comes to West ValleyJan 05, 2024 02:04PM ● By Peri Kinder
In the glass recycling program operated by Momentum Recycling, West Valley residents can sign up for a monthly glass pick-up. (Photo courtesy of Momentum Recycling)
West Valley residents now have the opportunity to use curbside glass recycling. Momentum Recycling (658 S. 4050 West) has extended its optional curbside pick-up program and invites city residents to sign up for the service.
“It’s good for those households who have a lot of glass waste,” said John Lair, president of Momentum Recycling. “It’s not for everyone in our community but certainly for those who value recycling the material.”
At a cost of around $8 per month, Momentum Recycling will drop off a 35-gallon container, about one-third the size of a regular garbage bin. Then, once a month, the company will stop by your home to pick up your glass bottles and jars and take everything to the recycling facility.
Once the recycling company receives the glass bottles, it’s run through a facility that removes any contamination. The glass is then sorted by color and size before it’s processed into a material that resembles beach sand.
“That, in turn, is sold for a couple of different industrial uses,” Lair said. “The largest of which is the manufacturer of fiberglass insulation. We have a fiberglass insulation plant here in our region…and they’re currently running about 50% recycled content in the product that comes out of that.”
The recycling program also benefits the economy by providing jobs. Employees are hired to drive collection trucks and work in the processing plant and insulation facility.
“We just continue to expand,” he said. “It’s a very equipment, capital intensive business. Trucks are very expensive and containers are expensive, and it’s very difficult to grow quickly. But over time, we’re getting there. In a couple more years, we’ll probably have the service available throughout the entire metro area.”
Momentum Recycling has been collecting glass since 2008 and built its glass recycling plant in 2012. The company works with neighborhoods and communities in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
Currently, the company works with most cities in Salt Lake County and is expanding service into Davis County. The program is optional and can be canceled at any time. There are also several free drop-off locations for glass recycling. A service map can be found at utah.momentumrecycling.com.
Momentum Recycling also offers a food waste service that turns table scraps into renewable natural gas. The waste is taken to a facility in North Salt Lake where an anaerobic digestion process turns it into natural gas that is delivered directly to the Dominion Energy pipelines.
Although the service area for this program is limited, it will expand to include residential homes in more parts of Salt Lake County.
“I think most people are surprised at how much food waste they produce,” Lair said. “Most waste characterization studies show that food waste makes up as much as 50% of what we put in the garbage. So once people get started at their home, they tend to be surprised at the amount of food waste.”
Lair said the goal is to keep more glass and food waste out of the state’s landfills. It’s not only a resource conservation but a way to extend the life of a landfill.
“Landfills are expensive to build,” he said. “When we need a new landfill in our community, it’s not going to be close to town, it’s going to be pretty far away. The cost of constructing the landfill is going to be high. So that means all of our disposal costs go up. The longer we can make this landfill last, the longer we can keep our costs low.” λ