With Earth Day approaching, Valley Recycling is gearing up for its annual event to celebrate our planet and try and make it cleaner.
A year ago it was postponed and then canceled because of COVID-19. It is back for 2021, but will look a little different than in the past.
“It feels good to be able to do it this year,” said Chris Bond, the vice president of Valley Recycling. “We wanted to do it last fall after we couldn’t in the spring, but it (the pandemic) got worse in the fall. We are excited to be able to hold it again and give back to the community a little bit.”
Usually the event takes place over two days at two sites. This year it will be a week-long affair and at one place. The facility on 145 N. 1000 West will be the place to take your recyclables.
“This way we can spread everyone out a bit instead of the old jam everybody in over two days and have a big fiesta,” Bond said. “We are trying to social distance.”
Earth Day is on April 22, but this event will take place from April 19-24. Those wishing to sell their metals will need to make an appointment online at valleymetalrecycling.com.
Bond explained there are lots of time slots available on most days, but the weekend could start to get full. The plan is to have up to 10 customers in the yard every 20 minutes.
“We have thousands of time slots available,” Bond said. “This will allow us to control the flow a little better. There should be plenty slots for everybody.”
“Unfortunately, we are not able to serve lunch to all the customers, which we like to do. But we are going to have drinks and snacks and treats for everyone who comes by, so there will be something for them to eat, (it) just won’t be a hot plate meal.”
In the past, customers have been treated to a hamburger or hot dog, chips and a drink. There have also been other prizes and giveaways from some businesses.
“We love feeding everybody, having a BBQ-slash-picnic atmosphere,” Bond said. “Maybe next year. We just can’t do it this year with the restrictions in place.”
This event draws people throughout Cache Valley and beyond. In 2019, more than 1,000 sales were made. Ean Kunz, the general manager at the facility on 10th West, said over the last six years this has been held the event has averaged between 1,000 and 1,500 customers.
“It will be different this year with us having just the one location, but we are stretching it out from Monday to Saturday,” Kunz said. “We are encouraging people to social distance but still bring in the materials they have saved up for the celebration. This way we can maintain how many people are in the yard at a certain time.”
With the event drawing so many people, families of employees often come help work. Bond said they may also hire a few more people to work during the week. Employees from yards in Idaho and Salt Lake City may also be asked to help.
The time slots are being monitored to make sure Valley Recycling is prepared.
“There are still time slots available on each day of the week,” Kunz said. “There are a lot of people that have signed up for sure, but there is still space for sure to sign up.”
Some people have been saving aluminum cans and other metals for two years since the event did not take place in 2020. During the celebration, Valley Recycling looks to offer the best prices possible for metals.
“Last year was the first time we weren’t able to have an Earth Day celebration in probably 30 years,” Kunz said. “We’re excited to do it again and hope our clients feel the same way.”
“We’ve been getting calls and people have told us they have been holding onto it since 2019,” Bond said. “I think we are going to have a mother lode coming in this year. Lots of aluminum cans are going to be recycled next week, which we love to see. We have had a lot of calls about cars that have been laying around.”
COVID forced some steel mills to shut down for a bit. As things have opened back up and start to rebound, that is good news for those wishing to get rid of metals.
“Prices are pretty good this year,” Bond said. “They are not the highest we’ve seen, but are definitely better than we’ve seen in the last three to five years. … The economy is picking back up. Metals are in demand, which makes our prices go up.”
Valley Recycling has been in business for more than 85 years. It specializes in aluminum, copper, brass, steel, iron and cardboard.
“We are grateful for everyone’s support,” Bond said. “We are excited to bring this back. We are excited to hold this event again and keep Cache Valley green and put a little green in everyone’s pocket at the same time.”