Salt Lake City, Utah, cracking down on recycling bin abusers

As has been the case in many areas of the country, Salt Lake City, Utah, recently instituted a color-coded recycling program. This initiative is designed to make the recycling process easier on residents by giving them a colored bin to place each particular recyclable product. However, city waste management planners have found that people are putting a bit more than recyclables in these containers and the city has begun to send out workers that will check recycling bins and hand out citations and fines to repeat offenders, according to

"Some people, they don't understand the difference between the bins and they treat them all like trash cans and that's why we have our enforcement team out there," Debbie Lyons, recycling program manager for Salt Lake City, told the news source. "We're trying to keep the contamination out of the yard waste bin from reaching the final destination which is the compost yard."

Salt Lake City uses a system of three color-coded bins - brown is for yard or vegetable waste that's not contaminated by dairy or meat, blue is for paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum, and green is for anything that can't be recycling or composted, or in other words, regular household trash.

The goal for the city is to be able to recycle at least half of the area's trash by 2015, but one has to wonder why they haven't instituted their own single-stream recycling program. This would streamline the process for residents and wouldn't require workers patrolling on the streets.

While it may not be the best method, the city is absolutely serious about its waste disposal and hopes to create a greener community for all of its residents in the near future.