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South Salt Lake Journal

South Salt Lake provides proper ways to dispose of bulk waste

Jul 18, 2019 04:02PM ● By Bill Hardesty

Household yard waste illegally dumped on a vacant lot in the southwest part of the city. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

You’ve trimmed your sycamore tree and now have a pile of limbs. What do you do?

  1. You take them to the Salt Lake Valley Landfill
  2. You throw them away in your garbage can over weeks
  3. You wait for your scheduled cleanup time or use another way provided by the city 
  4. You drag them to the vacant lot at the end of the street

If you pick 1, 2 or 3, good for you. You did the neighborly and legal thing. However, if you chose 4, well, thanks for playing but wrong answer.

As you drive around South Salt Lake and see vacant lots filled with broken furniture and trash bags, you can see that many people chose the wrong answer. This is not only disrespectful, it is illegal.

"Illegal dumping is a criminal offense. Dumping on public/private lands and vacant lots is not only an eyesore and a form of vandalism, but more poses health risks to humans, animals and the environment as well as contributes to vermin/rodent harboring," wrote Antoinette Evans, manager of the Urban Livability Department.

According to the Utah State Code Title 76, chapter 10, sections 2701 and 2702, "A person may not throw, deposit, or discard, or permit to be dropped, thrown, deposited, or discarded on...other public or private land,...any other substance which would or could mar or impair the scenic aspect or beauty of the land in the state whether under private, state, county, municipal, or federal ownership without the permission of the owner or person having control or custody of the land." 

Violating this provision is a Class C misdemeanor and violators would be fined no less than $100 and could be required to spend at least four hours cleaning up litter.

Residents who see such behavior should call the police department, 801-840-4000 for after hours non-emergency. 

Their response time varies depending on other enforcement issues. If the guilty party is not found, the property owner, who had nothing to do with the dumping, is now in violation.

Evans pointed out that, "Unfortunately for the property owner, it does become their responsibility when illegally dumped on. We will attempt to make personal contact and will work with them to reach compliance. Once again if compliance is not met within a reasonable time we will move forward with citation(s), leading to abatement.”

City alternatives

Semiannual cleanup: In May and November, SSLC sponsors yard cleanup. Residents can place yard debris for the city to take away with some requirements. The yard debris can be placed between the sidewalk and the curb (also called the parking strip), but it cannot be on the roadway or the sidewalk on main arterial streets. On non-arterial streets, the yard debris can be placed either on the parking strip or in the street but no further than 8 inches from the curb. No stack can impede the flow of traffic nor the flow of pedestrians nor access to fire hydrants or meters. Stacks cannot be higher than 4 feet. Loose clippings or trimmings must be contained in a package not weighing more than 80 pounds. Limbs and branches must be shorter than 6 feet and no part of a tree more than 8 inches in diameter or weighing more than 80 pounds can be added to the stack.

The city will notify residents of their pickup times through flyers, statements on utility billings or other means.

Transfer station: Free passes are available to the transfer station located at 502 W. 3300 South. A transfer station is where waste is consolidated for transfer to a permanent location. This is an alternative to driving across the valley to the Salt Lake Valley Landfill, which can cost $10 and higher, depending on load. With a free pass, residents can dispose of bulk waste including home remodeling material on the first and third Saturdays between 7-11 a.m. Passes are available in the Community Development department located on the first floor of City Hall. For questions, call 801-483-6000.

Roll-off dumpsters: Residents can rent a 12-by-8-by-4-foot roll-off dumpster for $25. Elsewhere, the same rental could cost you up to $295. This program is popular, and the dumpsters go fast every summer. According to the SSLC website, "Residents may use roll-off containers to dispose of yard refuse and debris, including tree limbs, leaves, shrubbery, and grass trimmings, as well as items such as used carpet, appliances, auto parts, etc."

Residents need to call 801-483-6000 to check available dates or stop by City Hall to make a reservation. Reservations are not accepted by phone and are made on a first come, first served basis. Containers go fast so it's best to book in advance and have alternative dates available in case your first request is booked. Deliveries are made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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