Carbondale's community connector

Waste Diversion Day provides easy, affordable recycling

Locations: News Published

If you’ve ever wondered about where your recyclables go, don’t worry: Julia Farwell has already done the homework — at least for the Spring Clean Up event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28 by Town Hall.

“I’m sort of like the watchdog,” she said. “I want to make sure that the right thing is being done and as much is being reused or recycled as possible and not make its way to the landfill.”

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With that aim, she has requested weigh tickets and visited facilities. It’s a labor of love based on the believe that waste diversion should be second nature, not a difficult or expensive process.

“The average person is too busy making ends meet to worry about all the intricacies,” Farwell said. “It’s either heavily discounted or free” — subsidized by the fee on plastic bags “going directly back to the people.”

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New this year is an emphasis on reuse and repair as the first step in waste diversion, with resources for bike repair and a book and clothing swap. While single stream recycling — paper, cans, plastic containers, etc. — isn’t accepted at the event, local providers Mountain Waste and Recycling and Waste Management will have free educational booths.

Waste Management communications director Jennifer Rivera assured customers that their recyclables, too, don’t end up in the landfill.

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“People absolutely make a difference when they recycle the right way,” she said. “When people put trash in with the recycling, that’s when we have a big problem. The quality is critical to maintaining that strong market.”

Specifically, she cited the need for clean, dry recyclables without plastic bags and other items that might jam sorting machinery. Bottles, cans, paper and cardboard are recycled almost everywhere — more information at

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You can also learn about year round recycling of hard-to-dispose-of items like propane tanks and mattresses at the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center booth.

Folks who want to get more involved with the event — volunteers are accepted right up ’til the day of — can text Julia at 379-4777.

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What to bring (and where it goes)

Batteries and bulbs : Brite Ideas / Region 8 Enviro (Denver)

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Free. You can also learn about local energy efficiency programs  and recycle any type

of light bulb and pick up an LED bulb to replace it. Thermostats and smoke detectors accepted for $10.

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Bicycles: Bicycles for Humanity (Africa)

The Way of Compassion Bike Project will also offer complimentary minor bicycle repairs.

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Books and clothing: The Environmental Board will host a 8 to 2 p.m. book and clothing swap for items in good condition; non-usable condition also welcome for recycling. Leftover clothing from the swap will go to USAgain (Denver) and books will go to Ecocycle (Boulder).

Compost: EverGreen ZeroWaste / Pitkin County Solid Waste Center

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You can also talk with waste diversion experts about curbside composting for businesses and residents and get free compost if you bring your own container. Yard waste by

the pick up load.

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Electronics: CORRecycling (Grand Junction)

One large (tvs, monitors, appliances, etc) and two small electronic items per household (VCRs, DVD Players, stereos, etc.)  No limit per household on cell phones, cables, ink & toner cartridges. Non-residents and extra items 35¢ a pound. Data destruction off site for $10.

Tires: JLM (Geocycle for co-processing)

Bike tires are free to recycle, automobiles are $4.50 with steeper rates for semi and tractor tires or sets with rims.

Mattresses: Spring Back (Denver)

$10 for first 50 residents,

$25 for non-residents & business owners.

Medicine: Carbondale Police /

National Drug Takeback

Free; accepted at Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only.

Refrigerators / AC units:  Brite Ideas

Mini for $50, regular for $75,

commercial for $125