I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia Juarez, an energetic and enthusiastic recycling advocate while volunteering with the Waste Wise stations at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. She is in charge of the Waste Wise stations at events throughout Salt Lake City and also a student at the University of Utah, majoring in peace and conflict studies.
Salt Lake County Recycling: When did the importance of recycling hit you?
Olivia: When I was little, my family would take me camping to Settlement Canyon in Tooele and the creek was filled with trash. My Tio Robert would pay me and my cousins to clean it up and recycle the cans and bottles.
SLCoR: What recycling idea would you like to communicate to the masses?
Olivia: Support. There are people who are very gung-ho about recycling and there are people who need a bit of community reinforcement. Support and positivity from peer to peer is really important when it comes to recycling.
SLCoR: What recycling moment are you most proud of?
Oliva: I was at one of the Twilight concerts just enjoying myself and I saw this woman throw a pineapple in the recycling bin instead of the trash. I immediately exclaimed, “That’s the recycling bin!” She apologized and tried to get it out and I said “I’ll help you!” So I helped her!
SLCoR: Not to be a downer, but for awareness’ sake, what is your recycling pet peeve?
Olivia: Knowing that there are things that should be recycled, but are limited by either machinery or lack of education. Like plastic bags.
SLCoR: It’s best to take them to the grocery store, but not everybody knows that. When they get put in the (curbside) recycling bin, they jam up the machinery at the recycling facility.
SLCoR: What else should we know about you?
Olivia: I picked up a job as a Master Recycling Coordinator- I will be helping run the SLC Green Master Recycler Program. I’m really excited about that!
For more information about SLC Green Master Recycler Program, visithttp://slcmasterrecycler.com/ (Psst, you get to tour our landfill with this program!)