Pitkin County is considering building an enclosed Drop and Swap facility at the landfill. An outdoor Drop and Swap has been a fixture at the landfill for many years. It’s a place where residents drop off furniture, fixtures, sports equipment, and construction materials, among many other things. The only trouble is, the current outdoor Drop and Swap is exposed to the elements and more often than not swap items are ruined by the rain, snow, and wind. An enclosed facility would allow the Solid Waste Center/Landfill to accept more reusable items including upholstered furniture, electronics, and appliances, etc. These items could be recycled and reused by another family instead of ending up in the landfill. As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Would you mind taking a couple of minutes to give us your feedback on this short survey? Your Board of County Commissioners would appreciate it!
For more information on the proposed Drop and Swap facility, contact Cathy Hall, Solid Waste Manager at (970) 429-2882 or by email at Cathy.Hall@PitkinCounty.com.
Thrift Shop and second hand store rejects are getting a second chance thanks to a new textile recycling program at the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center. Old worn out t-shirts, towels and blankets with holes, ill-fitting clothing, and running and hiking shoes that have lost their spring might have ended up in the landfill. Now they’re being collected at the Solid Waste Center and diverted back into the ‘reuse’ market.
“We’re partnering with USAgain out of Denver, a green for-profit enterprise committed to reducing textile waste by putting them back in the use cycle to not only preserve landfill space but conserve precious natural resources and prevent greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cathy Hall, Pitkin County Landfill Manager.
The US EPA estimates a whopping 12 million tons of textile waste goes into U.S. landfills each year. Approximately 1,600 tons of textiles end up in the Pitkin County Landfill annually.
“This equates to 4.3% of our total waste stream,” added Hall. “By diverting this waste we save landfill space, reduce carbon emissions, and find a beneficial second life for these items.”
The Pitkin County Landfill is a presenting partner with the 5Point Film Festival in Aspen this month. The show will take place on January 21st at the Wheeler Opera House. The event features 10 adventure films and special guests. The landfill’s involvement with 5Point comes during a major landfill public outreach effort to educate the community about recycling, reusing, and even refusing non-recyclable objects to extend the life of the landfill and improve the local environment. 5Point has a legacy of supporting and protecting the environment and Pitkin County Landfill believes that it aligns with its mission as it works to educate people on the importance of recycling.
Wooly: Landfills Explained is a 5-volume comic book series designed to educate school children in grades 3-5 about the relationship between waste and our everyday lives. Using Colorado STEM standards, it is available to everyone, anywhere via mobile app technology. Students may go at their own pace or work with others in a classroom.
Pitkin County’s compost program is US Composting Council Standard for Testing Assurance (STA) Certified. To learn more about what STA Certified compost means, view the video, hosted by PBS Channel’s Joe Lamp’l from Growing a Greener World.
For more information on our compost, pricing and and our related soil products, contact the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center at 970-429-2880.
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:
Pitkin County has completed the Phase I part of the Roaring Fork Valley Waste Diversion Plan. The Phase I plan included data from the waste sort, including the statistics of the waste and the recyclable materials being landfilled.
On April 19th the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners gave the go ahead for staff to move forward with the Phase II part of the plan. Phase II will take the data gathered from the waste sorts and public comment to set goals and recommended actions to achieve those goals.
Attached is a copy of the plan. For more information and for progress on the second phase of planning check back often.