Extending the life of the Pitkin County Landfill is the goal of a multi-media public outreach campaign that got underway this week. Animated Television and print ads will circulate featuring styrofoam, cardboard, plastic and food waste characters chastising each other for being in the landfill when they should have been recycled, reused, refused or composted.
“It’s a creative approach to getting our community’s attention about the limited life of our landfill and how we can extend it by thinking twice about the products we use and throw away,” said Pitkin County Landfill Manager, Cathy Hall.
Estimates are that without a fairly drastic change in the community’s collective ‘trash behavior’ the landfill will reach capacity and have to be closed in under 15 years, according to Hall.
Several programs are already underway at the landfill that are succeeding in diverting waste including aggregate recovery which recycles and diverts rocks and dirt from construction waste into road bed, landscaping and gardening materials for sale, a composting program for yard and food waste, and a ‘Drop and Swap’ program designed to repurpose items that still have a useful life. These programs are in addition to recycling drop off locations where recyclables are collected and processed at a facility in Denver.
“It may surprise some to learn that approximately 37% of our waste stream at the landfill is comprised of food and other organic material. That’s why we developed ‘SCRAPS’, a food waste collection program that provides containers to collect food scraps for both residential and commercial operations,” Hall said. “That food waste and organic material is turned into compost for use in your yards and gardens.”
The ongoing public outreach campaign is designed to raise awareness about what is recyclable and what is not, when to refuse products like styrofoam and plastic straws because they are not recyclable, when to consider reusing otherwise throwaway items, and encouraging composting, among other landfill ‘diversion tactics.’
The campaign continues through the summer months and will be visible in local newspapers, on local radio and television, as well as social media.
Contact: Cathy Hall, Landfill Manager: 429-2882
Television spots may be viewed on the Pitkin County YouTube Channel: