ASPEN - A 20-year veteran of landfill operations has been named the new manager of the Pitkin County landfill, the county announced Monday.
Still to be named is a new recycling operations foreman at the landfill. That job is being advertised.
Cathleen Hall, who manages projects at 29 landfills in the mid-Atlantic region, will take the helm at the Pitkin County facility on March 4, according to the county. She is reportedly an avid skier.
A nationwide search was conducted after a leadership change at the landfill last fall.
There were slightly more than 20 applicants for the manager post; six were interviewed by phone, and two advanced to a second interview, according to Brian Pettet, county director of public works.
The county was looking for someone with the experience and vision to operate the landfill with an eye toward innovation, he said.
"Cathleen will help us develop new waste-diversion programs and creative funding mechanisms that will help us improve our operation," Pettet said in a statement from the county.
Hall, the county noted, has experience in landfill-gas-diversion programs - in essence, collecting methane produced by a landfill for use as an energy source. There's no plan at this point to do that locally, but the county is always looking for that sort of innovation, Pettet said.
"We're always interested in seeing if a program will work here," he said.
Hall will inherit a landfill operation that is already a leader in Colorado for its recycling and waste-diversion programs, according to the county. About 70 percent of the waste that winds up at the landfill is recycled, converted or diverted, Pettet said.
The operation includes the conversion of rocks and boulders from construction sites into road base, gravel and other products that are made available for sale as well as the conversion of yard waste, wood and treated sludge into landscaping material.
Among the challenges for Hill, according to Pettet, will be maintaining the landfill's competitiveness if a new waste-transfer station opens in Carbondale.
Hall, in the county's statement, said her entire career has been focused on one day operating a landfill such as the one in Pitkin County.
"I have a lot of experience making landfills user friendly and growing recycling programs," she said in the statement. "I'm also looking forward to exploring the possibility of starting a landfill gas-to-energy program in Pitkin County in the future."
Hall's annual salary will be $81,203.20, according to the county. The advertised range for the post was $60,299 to $87,401.
She replaces Chris Hoofnagle, who left the county's employment last fall. The recycling operations job was subsequently vacated, as well. County Manager Jon Peacock offered no comment on the departure of the two employees because it is a personnel matter.
"Their employment was separated," he said simply.
Ideally, Hall will have a role in selecting the new recycling operations foreman, Pettet said.
"I think we're looking at the organizational structure to meet customer and operational needs at the landfill," he said.