Where does your Trash go?

This will really depend on where live, but many states and counties will be similar. Let me tell you where my trash goes where I live in Davis County, Utah.

All of the waste that I throw out is taken to Wasatch Integrated. Most of the waste goes to the “burn plant” or Energy Recovery Center, which is a waste-to-energy facility. This means that the garbage is incinerated and the heat generated is used to produce steam which is piped to Hill Air Force Base to heat their facilities. The remaining ash contains metals which are extracted by a large magnet. These metals are then sent to an independent metal recycler for processing.

Some of the garbage is diverted to the landfill, which is divided into cells. The cells are lined in such a way that as the garbage deteriorates the methane gas that is produced is captured and then burned in engines that generate electricity.

But that’s not all. Wasatch Integrated also operates a “Green Waste” facility. Residents can bring grass clippings, tree limbs, shrubbery, or any other green waste to the facility, at no charge. This green waste is recycled into compost, bark chips, and other commercial grade landscaping products. These products are available to residents for a nominal fee and loading assistance is available for those with pick-up trucks.

Don’t think that throwing items in your garbage can is ‘true’ recycling. These programs do help the environment only in a minor way. Be sure to put a little effort in recycling paper and plastics, it is really easy and require very little time. Wasatch Integrated also has a local Drop-Off Recycling Center. The facility accepts paper, plastic, and metal. There are also drop off bins that the city provides at my local civic center. Check with your local city or county office to find recycling programs in your area.

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