Call 2 Haul program lets Salt Lake City residents easily dispose of bulky waste

Changes to the “Call 2 Haul” program since its inception have made it easier to use — and easier on the environment.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The “Call 2 Haul” crew makes quick work sorting discarded bulk waste in neighborhoods on the east side on Friday, July 8, 2022. Four years after Salt Lake City launched Call 2 Haul, the bulk waste curbside pickup program has kept about 760 tons of material out of landfills, and collected 10 times that much from residents overall.

People can order just about anything online, from couches to baby swings to a new cellphone. But when those items wear out, it can be hard to figure out how to dispose of them properly. A couch’s size and the heavy metals in electronics mean neither can go into a regular garbage can.

For Salt Lake City residents, the “Call 2 Haul” program offers curbside bulk waste pickup services for large items that are tricky to throw away or recycle, as well as proper disposal of things like e-waste.

Residents who qualify are allotted two pickup dates a year — one for bulky items like mattresses, and one for yard waste that’s too big to fit in your brown bin. After you schedule a pickup date, a crew will come load everything up into trucks, after which it will either be recycled or trashed.

You don’t have to pay any extra fees to schedule “Call 2 Haul” pickup services, which are taxpayer-funded. “Everyone who is receiving a garbage bill on their public utilities water bill every month is paying for that service,” said Christopher Bell, director of the Waste and Recycling Division in the sustainability department.

Why ‘Call 2 Haul’ is good for the environment

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The “Call 2 Haul” crew makes quick work of scheduled discarded bulk waste in neighborhoods on the east side on Friday, July 8, 2022.

Four years after Salt Lake City launched “Call 2 Haul,” the bulk waste curbside pickup program has kept about 760 tons of material out of landfills, and collected 10 times that much from residents overall.

Changes implemented by the Salt Lake City Department of Sustainability since the program’s inception have made scheduling a “Call 2 Haul” pickup easier, and lessened its impact on the environment, said Sophia Nicholas, deputy director of the department.

Since the old Neighborhood Cleanup program became “Call 2 Haul” in 2018, the department has also removed what Nicholas said was the city’s role in facilitating illegal dumping, especially on the west side, where contractors would often leave waste from job sites.

“I think it was a shift for people, by nature — that was part of the design of the change, was to shift that mentality from people dumping anything and everything on the street to being a little bit more thoughtful with it,” she said.

Residents were granted two pickup dates each year instead of one as of July 2021. You can also now schedule a neighborhood pickup event for up to 20 contiguous households.

All Salt Lake City single-family homes and most duplexes and triplexes qualify for “Call 2 Haul.” Here’s how to make the most of those two pickup dates and declutter your home and yard:

Time pickups right, then schedule them

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The “Call 2 Haul” crew makes quick work of scheduled discarded bulk waste in neighborhoods on the east side on Friday, July 8, 2022.

Do you do most of your deep-cleaning in the spring? Or do you like to go through your garage as a summer project?

No matter when you decide to dig in and go through your junk and clutter, “Call 2 Haul” is available year-round. Just schedule your pickup in advance by using the online form, calling 801-535-6953, or emailing Call2Haul@slcgov.com. You’ll be asked to provide the account number on your city utility bill.

Most trees and shrubs will appreciate being pruned in early spring, after the most severe frosts have passed. This may be a good time to schedule your green waste pickup date, to clear your yard of trimmed-off branches and dead wood.

Items usually can’t be placed on the curb more than 24 hours in advance of your confirmed pickup date.

Break down very large items

Big stuff like fencing, playground equipment, and large children’s toys should be taken apart as much as possible before being left at the curb. (For example, for a chainlink fence, it would help to remove the chainlink and roll it up.)

If you aren’t sure whether an item is too big to leave out, call 801-535-6953 with any questions.

List the items you need to have picked up

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The “Call 2 Haul” crew makes quick work of scheduled discarded bulk waste in neighborhoods on the east side on Friday, July 8, 2022.

When you schedule your pickup date, it helps to have a list handy of at least the biggest items that will be in your pile. That way, the sustainability department can know what type of truck to bring to your home, and be able to schedule the right amount of pickups that day.

If you need to add an item to your list, call 801-535-6953 or email Call2Haul@slcgov.com.

Donate whatever you can

You may think that toaster oven is taking up too much space on your counter and want to get rid of it, but it could be just what your neighbor wants. Donate any clean and usable items to organizations like Goodwill and Deseret Industries, hold a garage sale, or post on the Nextdoor app to give items a second life before deciding to toss them.

No haul is too small

Call 2 Haul is free, but Nicholas said that some residents tell her they feel guilty using the program because they feel like they “don’t have enough stuff” to make it worth it for crews to come pick it up.

“You don’t need to worry about it being inefficient or whatnot,” she said. “Please use the service because we’re in your neighborhood, we’re scheduling you when we’re in your neighborhood. We’re picking up a bunch of stuff from your neighbors already.”

Know what you can include in your pile

Bulk waste:

  • Mattresses. Clean and dry mattresses can be recycled. Soiled or wet mattresses will go to the landfill.

  • Furniture (sofas, bed frames, nightstands, chairs, desks, etc.).

  • Appliances including hot water heaters, washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and more. Don’t worry if your appliance has freon, or coolant, in it. The city will safely remove it. Make sure to belt or tape refrigerator doors shut before putting them out by the curb.

  • Lawnmowers, snowblowers and other yard-maintenance equipment, as long as they’re emptied of fuel and oil.

  • Exercise equipment.

  • Carpet and carpet padding, rolled into 5-foot lengths and bound.

  • Doors and cabinets.

  • Filing cabinets and scrap metal.

  • Large children’s toys and playground equipment.

  • Electronic waste (printers, scanners, computer screens, cellphones, etc.).

  • Up to four car tires and bicycle tires and tubes (remove them from the bicycle wheel).

  • A large volume of small items will be accepted if they’re contained in a bag or box.

Green waste:

  • Branches no longer than 5 feet, and no bigger than 24 inches in diameter. Larger stumps aren’t accepted.

  • Brush and bushes cut to no longer than 5 feet, in a pile up to 4 feet tall.

  • Bundle materials together whenever you can, so loose debris doesn’t end up polluting stormwater and clogging storm drains. This was a significant issue under the now-defunct Neighborhood Cleanup program.

  • If you have a lot of leaves and smaller material, you can request one to two additional brown bins to put it all in.

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