Salt Lake City


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Materials Management Best Practices

Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling as Salt Lake City Government

Salt Lake City prides itself on having robust waste and recycling programs for city residents, businesses, and visitors. With this guide, we also aim to help Salt Lake City Corp’s 16 departments and nearly 3,000 employees Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Purchase sustainably.

Salt Lake City Corp has an extensive Comprehensive Sustainability Policy that includes guidelines to assist all employees and divisions in meeting the City’s zero waste goals. Salt Lake City also has the Business & Multi-Family Recycling Ordinance in place that requires the City to divert 50% of our waste from the landfill, just as is required of other commercial properties.

This page offers a compilation of resources available to help departments and their employees meet our policy and ordinance. Curious about why recycling is important? Check out this page for the basics! To keep up with more Salt Lake City recycling news, follow our SLCgreen blog.

We suggest that each department utilize the following steps as needed to either set up a successful waste management program or improve upon existing processes:

1. Assess what materials are currently being disposed of and how.

This can be done through a thorough waste audit, or by quickly scanning waste and recycling bins in the office. Contact the Sustainability Department at to have assistance with a waste audit!

Not sure how to properly dispose of different office supplies and miscellaneous materials? We have an extensive list of how best to dispose of or reuse common office materials!

2. Review your recycling plan.

To help each department evaluate or create processes for recycling and waste management, make sure you have a solid recycling plan. It can be simple and if you get stuck, we’re here to help! For more details, check out the Recycling Plan tab below.

3. Identify opportunities to purchase more sustainable office and break room items.

In order to make a market for recycled materials, we need to buy recycled goods. Not only does buying goods made with recovered materials benefit the environment, it’s often better for our health (by reducing extraction rates, water and energy use, and pollution).  Sustainable purchasing also often supports local companies. We have a lot of sustainable purchasing help for you here. Easy changes you can make include: buying materials made with recycled content, buying materials that are reusable, and buying materials that are fully recyclable. More details available in the “Sustainable Purchasing” tab below!

4. Share this page as a resource with your fellow employees.

We hope you find these tips handy for what to purchase and how, what to do with all sorts of workplace materials, and how to create less waste at work and in everyday life.

Check out the tabs below and if you have any questions, email us at

Learning Opportunities

The Waste & Recycling Education Team hosts multiple recycling classes each year. Check out Cornerstone LMS for updated course offerings!

Want a class unique to your department’s needs? We’re also available to do a specialized waste and recycling presentation for your work group or department at a time convenient to you. Email us at and we can discuss.

Can’t make it to a class? Check out our online recycling videos:

Recycling Services Available for City Facilities

City facilities can request to have glass and other hard-to-recycle services that go beyond the general mixed-recycling bin. See below for recycling options, and contact for any questions or assistance.

  • Batteries: Contact the building’s Facilities Manager to request pick-up of batteries or collect batteries in a box to be recycled at the Salt Lake County Landfill at their Hazardous Waste drop-off.
  • Glass: Have glass recycling bins serviced at your facility. Contact to request bins through the City’s Momentum Recycling contract. There is an additional monthly cost.
  • Food waste: If you produce a lot of food waste of any type, Momentum Recycling now offers food waste disposal services. Contact SLCgreen to express interest or inquire. There is an additional monthly cost.
  • Ink Cartridges/Toners: Used ink cartridges and toners can be recycled directly with the companies that supplied them. Often, the company will let you put used cartridges back in the shipping box, and provide a return label for you.
  • Fluorescent and CFL Light Bulbs: Contact the building’s Facilities Manager to request pick-up of light bulbs or collect light bulbs in a box to be recycled at the Salt Lake County Landfill at their Hazardous Waste drop-off. Additionally, there is a fluorescent light bulb drop-off box available to the public and employees at the second floor security desk of the City & County Building.
  • Scrap Metal: If your building or a nearby City building does not have scrap metal collection, please call the Waste and Recycling Division’s Education and Permits Lead at 801-535-6909 to see what arrangement can be made.

Comprehensive Sustainability Policy Overview

Full Comprehensive Sustainability Policy

  • General Guidelines:
    • Employees should think first of minimizing waste.
    • Recycling and reuse of products and materials is preferred and disposal should be treated as a LAST RESORT.
  • Sustainable Procurement:
    • Styrofoam and single-use disposable beverage pods (such as k-cups) are not to be purchased using City funds.
    • Plastic water bottles are not to be purchased using City funds unless there is no other potable water source available.
    • Departments shall purchase environmentally preferable products containing the maximum amount of post-consumer and/or recovered materials practicable in both the product, and the product packaging.
    • Departments shall purchase energy efficient electrical products and to source products from local, sustainable businesses, whenever practicable.
    • For other products, such as lumber, electronics, and plastics, please refer to the full Comprehensive Sustainability Policy.
  • Food and Beverage:
    • When food or beverage is purchased using city funds, food and beverages that have a low carbon and water footprint are preferable. Employees shall:
      • 1. Consider options that use local and organic ingredients when available;
      • 2. Ensure that there are sufficient vegan and vegetarian options available;
      • 3. Consider poultry and meat alternative options that have a lower carbon and water footprint than other meat options.
  • Chemical Reduction:
    • All cleaning products should be Green Seal or Ecologo certified to minimize common chemical use.
    • City employees should avoid using pesticides and other hazardous materials.
    • For those chemicals which are necessary, these materials must be recorded to track and monitor use.

The Recycling Plan

Having an office recycling plan is an easy way to quickly assess what resources you have for proper recycling, what additions you need to make, and how to keep people engaged. The plan can later be a good reference point if employees are uncertain how to handle materials and what resources are available.

Here’s a sample recycling plan to check out from the Sustainability Department. It can be simple, but should at least include the following:

  • Property location(s) and what areas are covered. For example: Sustainability Department office in the City & County Building, Room 418.
  • Person(s) of contact. Have someone who is responsible for this reference guide and who can provide assistance with outreach, education, and logistics as necessary.
  • Materials recycled. List all relevant materials to your department.
    • Ex. Blue-bin recyclables, scrap metal, cardboard (if separate from blue recycling bin), plastic bags/wrap, glass, light bulbs, batteries, food/green waste, batteries, hazardous waste, Styrofoam, electronics, etc.
  • Education Plan. How will employees be educated on resources available and making sure they know what to do with materials
    • Think about new hire orientation, placement of educational materials, email updates/reminders, meeting updates/reminders, attending recycling classes, posting of signs, etc.
  • Recycling containers. What types of containers are available in the department and where.
  • Janitorial staff. Ensure your janitorial/cleaning staff understand how and where recyclable materials are to be placed. (e.g. recyclable materials must be emptied out of the plastic bag and the bag cannot go into the recycling bin).
  • Collection schedule. When are there scheduled pickups?
  • Haulers. Who is picking up what? Or how will materials get to facilities/drop-offs?

Each recycling plan will be unique, but is a helpful guiding document for logistics management and as a reference document. Have any questions or need assistance? Email

A helpful resource in addition to what is addressed above is the Business & Multi-Family Recycling Ordinance Toolkit. It outlines effective communication strategies, highlights the business case for good recycling, and more.

Sustainable Purchasing

Don’t know where to start with sustainable purchasing in your department? Start with these easy changes:

  • Instead of buying single-use dishware, purchase sets of reusable kitchen goods for the office that can be communal. As a bonus, go to a thrift store to buy the kitchenware to save money and give older goods a second life! Otherwise, encourage employees to bring their own mugs, silverware, and plates for lunches and events. 
  • Do not buy single-cup drink pods, such as K-cups. If you already have a coffee maker that uses these, buy a few reusable filters that can have coffee grounds added. Remember! Employees cannot buy K-cups with City funds.
  • Purchase coffee, tea, and related items organically and locally when possible.
  • Encourage each employee to have their own reusable water bottle and coffee mug.
  • Buy ink cartridges made with recycled content and recycle them by having them picked up when office materials are delivered.
  • Purchase copy paper with 100% recycled content. Buy other paper and plastic goods with the highest amount of recycled content possible. 
  • Get furniture for the office from the City’s warehouse instead of buying new when appropriate. 
  • Communicate with other departments to see if they have extra materials that you can use through the Purchasing Department’s Surplus Property list.
  • When purchasing online via our supply vendors, buy from the “Best Sustainable Purchasing Options” lists available to employees.

In-Depth Sustainable Purchasing

  • There are “Sustainable Ideas” lists on both the SLCgov Staples and Office Depot purchasing portals that highlight sustainable products they have available that would be some of the best options when purchasing common office goods. Additional guidelines are available on Office Depot’s Greener Purchasing and at Staples. If you have any questions about other product options or updates, email

Proper Disposal of Workplace Materials

Not sure of how to properly dispose of your workplace materials? We’ve created an extensive list sharing the best ways for employees to reuse, recycle, compost, and dispose of common office supplies!