The below article was written by Momentum Recycling “Amglassador” Nate Keyes:
In an age where society uses smartphone apps daily, why is it that we are not paying more attention to the plethora of apps that can help us go green? Whether it be basic recycling tips, measuring your carbon footprint, or reducing your consumption, there is an overwhelming number of apps to help you live a more sustainable life. It can be a challenge to figure out where to start, which is why we compiled this list of the best tried-and-true environmental apps out today!
GoodGuide grants you one of the necessary skills for sustainable living: the ability to be proactive. Don’t get greenwashed – finding the most environmentally-friendly products and companies is now as simple as scanning a barcode. GoodGuide’s scientists rate food, personal care, and household products based on their health value, environmental impact, and social impact. Available for both Android and iOS.
Carma Carpooling pairs up users with overlapping commutes, helping to reduce emissions and even save money on gas! If you can’t walk, bike, or catch public transit, but you can’t bear the thought of driving a car for one every day, Carma Carpooling is the app for you. Pick up a passenger traveling somewhere on your route and they’ll contribute to the cost of the commute, or vice versa, use the app to find a driver heading your direction and pitch some gas money. Available for both Android and iOS.
From the creators of Earth911, iRecycle lets users find recycling locations on the go or right here in Salt Lake City. The app provides info on where to drop off those hard-to-recycle items as well, exposing 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials in the United States. Available for both iOS and Android.
Dropcountr connects to your water utility company and helps users conserve water at home and at the office! Your utility company can send you drought and water budget messages, as well as notify you of a leak. See how much water you and your neighbors use, engaging in friendly competition to see who can conserve the most (hint: the winner saves the most money too!). Unfortunately, Salt Lake City Water Department has yet to partner with Dropcountr, but the company wants to make your voice heard. Here’s what you can do: download the app, enter your zip code, and Dropcountr will have a request form ready to send directly to your water utility company. Available for Android and iOS.
Farmstand is the go-to app for anyone in search of fresh, locally sourced food. Farmstand will use your location to find markets nearest to you, give directions, and market hours. Users can also post photos to share their experience, keep other users updated on the best deals, and promote their favorite markets. Available for iOS.
Oroeco is creating an interactive platform for users to see how their everyday spending, investment, and lifestyle choices affect the world around us. Check out their video: the app lets you track everything in your life from traveling to eating habits, calculates the carbon footprint (with the help of UC Berkeley), and encourages you to reduce your environmental impact by competing with other users for rewards. Available for Android and iOS.
#climate (pronounced “Hashtag Climate”) helps users discover current environmental movements and share how to get involved. Even better, users can indicate which topics or locations they’re passionate about and the app will curate a list of customized actions to tackle those issues. Download #climate to stay updated on the fight to protect Utah’s National Monuments, and other campaigns, all through real time info gathered from trusted environmental organizations (and check out their video). Available for iOS.
Know of an app that we didn’t include? – Let us know in the comments below!
The below article was written by Momentum Recycling “Amglassador” Nate Keyes:
Who are those people knocking on doors in reflective vests? What could they possibly be trying to sell us now? And why are they always on their phones? These are all common questions that run through the minds of Salt Lake City residents as they see Momentum Recycling’s Community Outreach Specialists out in their neighborhood. From one resident to another, I’m here to remind you why we interrupted that Monday night dinner.
Essentially, the job is to sell Momentum Recycling’s residential service, that is, residents’ very own 35-gallon glass recycling bin to be emptied monthly. Call it a cliché, but a Community Outreach Specialist does so much more. Tasked with the responsibility to educate our community on how to best recycle their glass, but equipped with the ability to downsize one’s garbage, residents are always in for a pleasant surprise when they answer their door. “How would you like to save a few extra dollars on your next garbage bill?” is not usually what people expect to hear from the “salesperson” at their front door.
This year alone, our canvassing efforts helped 432 residents sign up for the curbside glass recycling program, as well as saved 608 people between $39 and $87 on their annual garbage bill by downsizing the size of their trash can. These glass signups will help to divert thousands of pounds of glass from entering our Salt Lake County landfills each year.
For this year’s outreach campaign, we started using a mobile app so to be 99% paperless, which has proved to be not only the right choice environmentally, but also convenience-wise. With our mobile app, signing up for glass recycling and/or downsizing one’s garbage is as swift as the tap of a button!
However, going door-to-door in a city like Salt Lake isn’t always easy. Hilly streets, uninterested and even annoyed homeowners (sorry we caught you at a bad time!), extreme heat and bad air quality days are all barriers to a productive day. Despite the periodic struggles, the Community Outreach Specialist Team is too passionate about solidifying glass recycling as a normalcy in our community to let these obstacles stand in their way!
How to encourage your neighbor to recycle their glass: remember to highlight not only the benefits they will receive, but the good they will be doing for the local community as well. Because it’s a service that will make their lives easier, but at the end of the day, their commitment to recycling glass creates jobs, saves money, and reduces pollution in our community. If there’s one thing we have learned from going door-to-door, it’s that residents don’t like to pay for something that’s not absolutely necessary. But here’s the catch: when homeowners downsize their garbage bin, the savings they receive can actually more than offset the price of the curbside service!
However, if your neighbor still isn’t sold on the convenience of their own bin, make sure to emphasize that they can still recycle their glass for free. Direct them to any number of our public drop-off locations, where they can find the location closest to their home, on their commute, or even on a lazy day at the park.
Here at Momentum Recycling, we strive to be at the forefront of both operations and outreach. Although canvassing has proven successful, we are always open to suggestions for alternative methods of spreading the word on glass recycling. Moreover, we’re working on bringing a few new ideas to fruition that will be sure to wow you. Stay tuned for updates!
Want to get involved? – – Great! Please check out our jobs + opportunities for more info.
As of the start of May 2017, mixed recyclables collected from organizations participating in Momentum Recycling’s business services program have been going to Waste Management’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located in South Jordan, Utah. We feel strongly that this new path for your mixed recyclables will ensure greater capture rates while allowing us to have a more constructive dialogue about what can and can’t be recycled.
A quick update about items that are accepted in the mixed recyclables stream: plastic coated containers are okay to place in your blue bins. However, plastic bags and plastic film are still not considered acceptable items and neither is shredded paper (regardless of whether it is contained in bags).
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding acceptable items or our new partnership with the Waste Management MRF!
The below article was written by Momentum Recycling “Amglassador” Zach Green:
Momentum Recycling started back in 2008 with one goal in mind, to help communities move towards zero waste. This ambitious goal is coming to fruition as more businesses and residents continue to sign up for our recycling services, including glass recycling, mixed recycling and food waste. As Momentum Recycling has grown, we continually strive to find better ways to serve the community and protect the environment (air quality in particular). One way we’re doing this is through the help of route optimization and sequencing solutions.
As residents of the Salt Lake Valley, we’re well aware of air quality concerns and take the health of the environment very seriously. According to UCAIR, vehicles account for nearly 1/2 of winter workday emissions and are the primary source for the air pollutant PM2.5. This harmful pollutant is known to exacerbate the side effects of those living with asthma and COPD1.
What role do routing solutions play? – As a business, serving thousands of customers a week is no small task and performing each route by memory can lead to missed bin pick-ups and inefficient navigation. Through the help of route planning and optimization techniques, we are able to plan the most efficient routes possible to reduce the amount of drive time it takes to perform services and in turn the amount of emissions produced by our trucks (which mainly run on natural gas). Examples of these route changes include not performing U-turns, avoiding left turns (like UPS does as well), avoiding traffic congestion, and setting alerts for hard acceleration. By simply taking the time to implement routing solutions to plan our routes, we’re capable of reducing route time by nearly 35%, resulting in a significant decrease in fuel consumption and total CO2 emissions.
The growth of Momentum Recycling has provided even more opportunities to help communities move towards zero waste. The integration of routing software will not only allow us to better serve our customers but it will also help minimize our carbon footprint. As a business, both of these things are of utmost importance.
1. “Air Pollution and Public Health in Utah.” UtahAir – Particulate Matter. Utah Department of Health, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
2. “Sources of Emissions.” UCAIR. UCAIR, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
Grants Awarded to Expand Electric Vehicle Use in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Electric vehicle (EV) usage and compressed natural gas (CNG) equipment and infrastructure is expanding in Utah thanks to grants the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) awarded to numerous entities, including this year’s grants awarded to Momentum Recycling, the Utah Office of Energy Development, and Salt Lake City Corporation.
DAQ announced today it has awarded a total of $350,000 in grants from the Clean Fuels Grant Program established by the Utah State Legislature to help three entities purchase EV and CNG vehicles and expand CNG refueling stations along the Wasatch Front.
“I’m very pleased to be able to provide businesses and government agencies with funding to expand alternative fuel vehicles in Utah,” said Alan Matheson, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. “This program advances the Division of Air Quality’s on-going effort to encourage cleaner transportation choices that lead to better air quality.”
One of the grant recipients, Momentum Recycling, will use the grant to purchase two natural gas refuse trucks and natural gas refueling equipment. “This project is an example of Momentum Recycling’s long-term commitment to the environment through our recycling and waste reduction initiatives while using clean fuels,” said Jeff Whitbeck, owner of Momentum Recycling.
Those awarded grants are as follows:
- Momentum Recycling: $175,499 for natural gas refueling equipment and $40,875 for natural gas refuse trucks.
- Utah Office of Energy Development: $70,000 grant for 60 EV charging ports to be installed throughout the state.
- Salt Lake City Corporation: $39,626 grant to purchase five EVs and $24,000 to purchase three charging stations.
For more information, visit: www.cleanfuels.utah.gov.
About DEQ: Established in 1991, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) mission is to safeguard and improve Utah’s air, land and water through balanced regulation. DEQ implements state and federal environmental laws and works with individuals, community groups and businesses to protect the quality of Utah’s air, land and water. For more information, visit www.deq.utah.gov or call 1-800-458-0145.