Aspen does recycle |

Aspen does recycle

Dear Editor:I recently read that some residents feel that we as a city are environmental hypocrites, in part because of recycling. There is a common misconception floating around that recyclables collected in Pitkin County are brought to the landfill and buried along with trash.This is not the case. Trucks filled with recyclables go to the landfill because that is where the Roaring Fork Valley’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is located. Recyclables collected from Aspen to Glenwood Springs get delivered to the MRF to be recycled and sent out to be made into new products – not buried in the landfill. Trucks carrying trash collected in the upper Roaring Fork Valley go in one direction to be buried in the landfill, and trucks transporting recyclables collected at your house, business or Rio Grande recycling center go to the MRF.The MRF processes two grades of plastic, three colors of bottled glass, aluminum and steel cans, carpet pads, and four grades of paper and cardboard. On average, almost 3 million pounds of mixed recyclable containers (plastic, glass and metal), 2.5 million pounds of newspaper, magazines and office paper, and almost one million pounds of corrugated cardboard are processed at Pitkin County’s recycle center. The only other comparable facility in western Colorado is in Grand Junction. For a description of where each material goes, and what products they are made into, check out the “Recycling Brochure” at It is also important that the community knows that in addition to sorting household recyclables, the landfill has a composting program, a Use-It-Again lot, a household hazardous waste drop-off site, electronics recycling, a scrap metal lot, a tire lot and an aggregate recovery operation.The Pitkin County Landfill is not a dump – it is a resource recovery facility where everyone can go to get rock, compost, mulch, building material and much more, and where your recyclables are sorted to be made into new products. For more details on the many functions and services of Pitkin County’s Landfill, go to The city of Aspen Environmental Health Department is continually working on projects to improve recycling and waste reduction. On Aug. 22, the Aspen City Council will be conducting a public hearing on a proposed waste reduction ordinance. To learn more about this important citywide recycling ordinance, please contact our staff at the Aspen Environmental Health Department. We welcome questions and suggestions to help our community reduce waste and increase recycling efforts.And please keep recycling! It saves energy, and reduces global warming and air pollution!Sarah Laverty, Jannette MurisonCity of AspenEnvironmental Health Department

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