Pitkin County is Updating Its Waste and Recycling Ordinance


Pitkin County is in the process of updating its 1991 Waste and Recycling Ordinance with an eye on cost incentives for waste reduction.

Under the proposed ordinance, single-stream recycling would be included on all residential and commercial trash bills. The new ordinance would encourage recycling and waste diversion by requiring haulers to provide a variable rate structure, or what is known in the industry as  “Save-as-you-Throw.”

“Save-as-you-throw is volume-based rate structure, which is tied to level of service,” said Pitkin County Solid Waste Manager, Cathy Hall. “Unlike flat rates where you pay the same no matter how much trash and recycling you have, this system will provide lower rates if you create less waste. We hope this will help to change buying and wasting habits and encourage more recycling or composting,” Hall said.

One of the significant changes in the new ordinance will be that recycling for Pitkin County residents and businesses will be provided as part of trash service.  In the past, recycling was only required to be offered and not automatically provided. Residents and businesses can opt out of recycling, but they will still be required to pay for recycling as part of their collection service.  Pitkin County has determined that recycling is a pivotal part of effectively managing the county’s resources and protecting public welfare.

“Updating our Waste and Recycling Ordinance is way overdue,” Hall said. “A lot has changed in the waste and recycling industry since the last update in 1991 and as the industry continues to evolve it is important Pitkin County reflect the current standards for waste management, and that every resident and business has the chance to recycle.”

Pitkin County staff are conducting a public review process before the ordinance is finalized and approved by the Board of County Commissioners.  Public meetings are scheduled for Thursday, July 19, 2018, from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Pitkin County Library and on August 27, 2018, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Basalt Town Hall.  The public also has an opportunity to comment on the draft ordinance online at www.pitkincountyconnect.com.  

For more information on the new waste and recycling ordinance, please visit landfillrules.com or contact the Pitkin County Solid Waste Manager, Cathy.Hall@PitkinCounty.com or by phone at 970-429-2882.

The Draft Ordinance can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17TpkFHD1Mev0Eg1HIxXktO95yEgquKzt?usp=sharing





Pitkin County Needs Your Feedback on a Proposed Drop and Swap Facility

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!

Take the survey here:https://www.pitkincountyconnect.com/portals/187/forum_home?active_issue_id=5689&phase=Open

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.

Pitkin County Solid Waste Center Now Offering Textile Recycling

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.”



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Pitkin County Partners with 5Point Film Festival in Aspen

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.



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Wooly: Landfills Explained Teaches Kids About Landfills, Recycling, Composting and Hazardous Waste

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.

Composting and Our Community

What’s In Our Trash?

Where Does Our Trash Go?

Let’s Sort Our Trash!



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Pitkin County’s Compost is US Composting Council STA Certified

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.


Pitkin County Kicks Off Media Campaign Aimed at Extending the Life of the Landfill

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: