Community briefs: Landfill’s Mercantile opens Friday; Aspen observes Arbor Day on Saturday | AspenTimes.com
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Community briefs: Landfill’s Mercantile opens Friday; Aspen observes Arbor Day on Saturday

Motherlode Mercantile debuts Friday

The Motherlode Mercantile, Pitkin County Solid Waste Center’s next foray into waste diversion, opens to the public on Friday.

The new retail venture aims to divert quality furniture, sports equipment, architectural salvage, lighting and plumbing fixtures, decorative items and landscaping materials. The space will take the place of the drop-and-swap area that has been at the landfill for years.

“The Motherlode Mercantile is the next level of keeping good reusable items out of the landfill,” said Cathy Hall, Pitkin County Solid Waste director, in a statement. “Being in the Roaring Fork Valley, we see a lot of really good reusable items; unfortunately, much of it ends up in the landfill because we lacked the space to properly store it and protect it from the elements.”



The Mercantile will serve as a donation point as well, receiving reusable items for a tax deduction. In addition, the Solid Waste Center currently takes in textiles and books for recycling and reuse. The Motherlode Mercantile, due to space constraints, does not plan to sell books or textiles in the store; instead, the items will continue to be outsourced to reuse distribution facilities, but are still eligible for a tax deduction.

“We want the Mercantile to be another outlet in the valley for reuse” Hall said. “I want us to be the go-to place for someone who needs a dresser for their child’s bedroom or the crafty artist who refinishes furniture or makes chairs from used skis.”




The Motherlode Mercantile is housed in a temporary location at the landfill, with plans to build a larger facility in the future. Plans for the larger facility have been put on hold due to construction delays and escalating costs. Landfill staff hope to move forward with the construction of the larger facility in 2023. Once the larger facility is built, the temporary Mercantile will be converted into a solid waste education center.

The Motherlode Mercantile will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays and Mondays. For more information visit TheMotherlodeMercantile.com or call the Solid Waste Center at 970-429-2880.

The city of Aspen Parks Department will host a community celebration for Arbor Day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Paepcke Park.

The event was originally scheduled May 21 but postponed due to cold and snowy weather. Saturday’s festivities will include a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Aspen’s designation as a Tree City USA with a special focus on aspen trees as a keystone species in the Roaring Fork Valley. There will be an exhibit on the history of Aspen’s trees in addition to free hot dogs and drinks, information booths on topics including tree planting, tree care, insect/disease identification, forest updates and wildfire. Activities include games, a raffle, and free tree giveaways with proof of Aspen residency such as a utility bill.

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