Recycling Spotlight September 2014
January 14, 2015
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Clayton standing in front of his killer garden.
Meet Clayton Andersen! He's our latest rock star recycling spotlight. Clayton is a resident of Cottonwood Heights, an employee of The Bureau of Land Management and was one of the very first people to sign the 20% Challenge. As you will read, Clayton has long been involved with sustainability issues, and in fact, he's taking off to Sri Lanka for a couple months to work with the endangered sea turtles in the area. Lucky guy! We got to visit him in his Cottonwood Heights home and chat with him about sustainability and recycling.
Clayton reuses old dishes and bottles to start his houseplants in. Cool, right?
Clayton with his kitchen recycling bins. (The box is his re-purposed glass-recycling container.)
Salt Lake County Recycling: When did the importance of recycling hit you?
Clayton Andersen: I guess I can't remember a time it wasn't important to me. I do remember growing up in the era when Michael Jackson was king and his Earth Song had a big impact on me. And then of course, going to college really opened my eyes to the importance of protecting the world's resources.
[Watch MJ's Earth Song here:
SLCoR: What recycling or sustainability idea would you like to communicate to the masses?
CA: Consume less. It's not only about recycling everything you can, it's about consuming less to start with. If we could all try not to buy things like pre-packaged food and paper towels -- stuff that is made to be thrown away -- it would go a long way in resource conservation. And the bonus side is that, typically, what's healthy for the planet is also healthy for us.
SLCoR: What recycling moment are you most proud of?
CA: I had the opportunity to work as a compost intern at the U of U Campus Gardens. I got to watch what people considered waste - food scraps - become a usable source of nutrients for the garden. I saved about 500 pounds of food waste each week from going to the landfill. That was pretty cool.
SLCoR: What is your recycling pet peeve?
CA: When there is a recycling bin right next to a garbage bin and people still throw recyclables in garbage can. How could it be easier to make the better choice?
SLCoR: What else should we know about you?
CA: I think that every little bit counts. Everything makes a difference. We've got to rethink the mentality that as individuals our actions don't matter, because really, we're all in this together.
There are several water barrels that catch the rain-water runoff and feed into the garden.
Thanks for being such a fantastic recycler, Clayton!
Do you know a stellar recycler we should feature as our next Recycling Spotlight? Tell us about them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Clayton and take our 20% Challenge, pledge to recycle more and help Salt Lake County catch up to the nation average!
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