Recyclables not treated like trash | AspenTimes.com
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Recyclables not treated like trash

Kimberly Nicoletti

Don’t believe all the trashy talk you hear.Lee Cassin, the city’s environmental health director, said people call her office at least once a year asking about the rumor that trash haulers pick up recyclables then dispose of them with trash.The misperception seems to stem from the fact that recyclables end up at the same place trash goes – the county’s Solid Waste Center.”People do see recycling trucks come to what they think is the dump, but it’s the Solid Waste Center, where all our recycling takes place,” said Dylan Hoffman, the center’s outreach and compliance coordinator. “We definitely do have that perception problem, but it’s a really great operation we run up here, and we’re more than willing to walk anyone around who doubts our recycling program.”Molly Faath is one who wondered if the rumors she heard are true.”I find this very difficult to believe but do know that some people choose not to recycle based on this information,” Faath said.Cassine agreed that the rumor deters some from recycling.But in fact, the county is so successful in its recycling efforts that it beats the state average. It recycles 11.5 percent of the total waste it takes in, more than Colorado’s average of 2.8 percent. It bales paper into cubes, then ships them to papermaking mills, or other markets, depending on what is paying the most on a specific day. It sends commingled bottles, cans and other items to a larger sorting facility in Grand Junction, where magnets pull out cans and people separate the rest by hand.Overall, it diverts 60 percent of its solid waste from the landfill through programs such as composting, recycling tires, selling scrap metal and separating wood waste, Hoffman said.Kimberly Nicoletti’s e-mail address is knicoletti@aspentimes.com


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