Welcome to the Haul of Fame, a series from Rubicon® in which we sit down with a hauler partner to talk about their company, their community, and how they’re collaborating with Rubicon in our mission to end waste.

As our nation continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the men and women at companies like these are on the front lines, continuing to drive their daily routes and keeping our communities safe and clean. Their work is key to maintaining sound public health and we thank them, now more than ever, for providing this essential service to our society.

Momentum Recycling, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a recycling hauler offering recycling services via carts, rear-loads, and roll-offs. With a fleet of 15 trucks, Momentum was founded in 2008 and has been working with Rubicon since 2019.

Momentum Recycling’s General Manager, Jason Utgaard, sat down with Rubicon to talk about his company and mission for the Haul of Fame.

How does Rubicon’s mission to end waste match-up to Momentum Recycling’s own company mission?

Momentum Recycling: Momentum Recycling’s mission to move communities toward zero waste is nearly identical to Rubicon’s mission to end waste. This lends to the strength of our flourishing partnership as well as to the customer commitment to our shared mission.

How does Momentum Recycling distinguish itself from the competition?

Momentum Recycling: We separate ourselves from our competitors by being a full-service zero waste company offering comprehensive recycling solutions. We did not start as a trash company that then happened to add recycling services: we committed to recycling from day one. The two primary services we offer—glass recycling and food waste recycling—are both niche services in which we specialize.

Glass bottles waiting to be recycled at Momentum Recycling’s Salt Lake City facility.

What is the view of Momentum Recycling when it comes to participating in the circular economy and helping build a more sustainable future?

Momentum Recycling: We see ourselves as playing a pivotal role in the circular economy, particularly in terms of regional glass recycling since we operate the only glass recycling facility here in Utah where we also perform glass recycling collection services. By diverting glass from local landfills, we create local jobs both here at Momentum Recycling related to the collection and processing, as well as at the local industry partners who use our cullet (recycled glass) in their products. For example, we collect glass bottle waste that we then process at our Salt Lake City facility, which then goes just one hour away to be made into fiberglass insulation, which then is used in local construction projects.

Aside from glass recycling, Momentum Recycling is Utah’s leading food waste hauler. The food waste we collect is transported to an anaerobic digester that captures renewable natural gas to supply power to local homes as well as creates a carbon-rich fertilizer for local farmers.

What is one of the oddest items or the largest amount of something you have ever been asked to compost?

Momentum Recycling: The first thing that comes to mind is when the local zoo reached out to us about hauling away animal droppings. They never crossed our radar as a potential customer! Related to animals, we also have hauled dog food and animal supplements, which was also a waste stream we did not consider. We also receive brine shrimp waste that is generated nearby at the Great Salt Lake.

Food waste arriving at Momentum Recycling’s Salt Lake City facility.

What do you love most about the community in which you work, and the customers you serve?

Momentum Recycling: This community is lucky enough to be nestled along the Wasatch Mountains, which is home to some of the greatest outdoor sports landscapes in the world. Many people in the community relocated here specifically for its natural beauty and the ease of access to hiking, mountain biking, skiing, climbing, etc. We all cherish the natural beauty around us: The customers we serve connect how recycling helps preserve the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains for future generations to come.

Where does Momentum Recycling see itself five years from now?

Momentum Recycling: You may be surprised to learn that we do not have some grand vision for world domination; instead, we want to continue increasing the volume of material diverted from the landfill both through existing and new service offerings. Particularly, on the residential side, we want to expand our glass collection service area as well as explore food waste collection direct-to-residents. On the municipal side, we hope that our efforts thus far will persuade more cities to implement ordinances requiring commercial entities to recycle, especially since the local infrastructure is now in place to solve the equation.

Chris Watts is Sr. Director of Innovation and Hauler Relations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.