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Moab Happenings Home

SUSTAINABILITY HAPPENINGS June 2019

Moab Clean Air Initiative
Dr Rosemarie Russo, sustainability Director

The City of Moab was awarded a grant by UCAIR to reduce local emissions and improve air quality through a comprehensive new program, the Moab Clean Air Initiative.

According to the EPA, lawnmowers account for up to 5 percent of the nation’s air pollution. A new gas powered lawn mower produces the same amount of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions in one hour as 11 new cars each being driven for that same time period. A leaf blower used for one hour can produce as much pollution as driving a Toyota Camry from Moab to Las Vegas and back. Finally, an estimated 17 million gallons of fuel, mostly gasoline, are spilled annually while users are refueling equipment.

Through the Moab Clean Air Initiative, the City of Moab is incentivizing the replacement of high-emissions equipment for residents and city government operations. As part of this program, the City is providing rebates for the purchase of electric lawnmowers and lawn equipment in partnership with the two local hardware stores.

This City is leading by example and transitioning to electric options for landscaping and lawn care. Streets, Facilities and Parks have purchased new equipment. Residents and businesses can order mowers online from the vendor of their choice. Those who purchase from the True Value or Ace Hardware websites can get free local delivery in-store at Turner Lumber (ACE) or Walker Hardware (True Value). Participants can receive a $75 gift card when they buy equipment costing $75 or more, or a $25 gift card for the purchase of equipment costing less than $75, while supplies last. To request a rebate contact Rosemarie Russo via email rrusso@moabcity.org or stop by City Hall with receipt of purchase.

Another clean air Initiative is getting folks biking again! The National Bike Challenge kicked off in May and will continue through Oct. 1. Thanks to everyone who participated in Bike to Work Day, and especially to our sponsors and stations volunteers: Moonflower Community Cooperative, City Market, Youth Garden, Maddie Logowitz, Tyson Swasey and the Moab Area Travel Council (Elaine Gizler and Keri Frandsen).

Moab is competing against Park City and Fort Collins. To join the community team go to lovetoride.net, create an individual profile and then join “Moab” under the business category. Every month the City will have prize drawings for riders.


Support Locally Rooted Reuse & Recycling Options
by Steph Hamborsky
The state of recycling in the City of Moab and Grand County has varied widely over the past year. Materials accepted by the Recycle Center fluctuated dramatically in response to unpredictable international recyclable commodities markets, and the City attempted to tangibly address ambitious emissions reduction goals set in 2017. The Community Recycle Center (CRC) on Sand Flats Road, managed by the Solid Waste Special Service District #1, welcomed a new District Manager only several months ago, and the City of Moab submitted a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the last quarter of 2018, which led to a partnership with Monument Waste to provide single stream recycling services.

The first day of June marks the start of Monument Waste’s residential single stream recycling contract. Community members who utilized Green Solutions for recycling pick-up in the past were automatically enrolled in Monument Waste’s program and quickly received new Monument Waste recycling bins, while all other residents of the City were automatically enrolled in the program unless they specifically chose to opt out before June 1st. Folks in the latter group received their bins on a rolling basis over the past couple of months. The City will allow residents to modify their recycling and trash pick-up options every February and October. Monument Waste’s single stream bins accept a wide range of materials, from styrofoam packing blocks to milk cartons, which are received by Altogether Recycling, a materials recovery facility (MRF) based in Denver.

The City’s contract with Monument Waste undoubtedly broadens the scope of recycling in the Moab valley and beyond, but we must not neglect the continued importance of our CRC. Utilizing the CRC allows us to take responsibility for our waste generation and support transparency, innovation, and community building. Currently, the CRC accepts #1 and #2 hard plastics, mixed paper (including paperboard, office paper, and newspaper), glass, aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, and electronic wastes. Therefore, a substantial percentage of recyclable materials is accepted by our locally managed CRC. They ship materials to facilities based in Utah and other domestic manufacturing centers. The Solid Waste District staff envisions a zero waste future and embraces bold, creative ways of reducing waste, reusing materials, and transforming the CRC into a community-oriented, vibrant space. Reducing our waste stream and the greenhouse gases associated with its management requires facing our waste directly.

If you utilize Monument Waste’s single stream services, consider diverting the materials listed above to the CRC and thinking beyond recycling as a solution to our waste stream problems. Engage with the staff at the CRC and local non-profits focused on waste reduction, reuse, repurposing, and upcycling projects, including Moab Solutions, Resiliency Hub, and Wabi Sabi. Visit the CRC Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 12:30pm. Provide feedback, ask questions, and help our community work toward a locally empowered solution to overconsumption!
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