GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - November 15 is America Recycles Day and locally, it was used to demonstrate a growing problem in Mesa County— a landfill nearing capacity.
"65-75% of what's going into our landfill currently could be recycled, reused or composted. That's alot." Barrett Jensen, Director of the Mesa County Solid Waste Department said, "If we have 24-25 years, we could double that and in 50 years we would be closing."
In Grand Junction city limits of the around 17,000 curbside trash pickup customers, an estimated 25% of those homes participate in curbside recycling as well.
"Another 4-5,000 vehicles come through our drop-off every month. So, we're doing pretty good, but we could do a lot better." Merissa Snyder, the community outreach director for Curbside Recycling Indefinitely, the curbside recycling company for the City of Grand Junction.
GJCRI says each house produces 67.5 pounds of recycled material this month. From current recycling homes, that over 140 tons or about 286,875 lbs of trash. If all the homes in Grand Junction recycled 1,147,500 pounds of material that would be recycled rather than dumped in a landfill.
"We make too much trash," said Jim Anker, an avid recycler and Grand Junction Resident,"There's a lot of things we have at home that are recyclable and we should do that."
For the Anker's, they say what they recycle adds up to much more than they throw away.
"The bag we put out for the trash pick-up is pretty small every week, but we have a bunch of recycle stuff we bring down here." Anker said, "It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate, how much recyclable stuff you can accumulate, and frankly how little garbage you can accumulate when you are actually taking that time, sorting it out and recycling it."
Curbside recycling through GJCRI is $1.75 a month and they can be contacted at 970-242-1036.
Outside of the city limits, Commercial Refuse Service offers monthly pickup for $5 a month and can be reached at 970-243-8555.
You can recycle electronics at CorRecycling in Grand Junction and can give them a call at 970-244-5301.