Innovations Aim to Extend Life of the Mesa County Landfill

Turning Trash into Recycling Treasure

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - The Mesa County Landfill is taking their trash and turning it into recycling treasure, all with the hope of extending the landfill's life. The landfill is expected to be completely full by 2042.

With around 25 years left, many with the Mesa County Landfill are brainstorming ways on how to reuse the trash they already have. The landfill is the first in the state to use latex paint waste as an alternative to daily cover. Daily cover is a process that requires landfills to cover the trash with six inches of soil every day. This ensures trash will not blow away, hides odors, and prevents scavenging, amongst other benefits. "It's really exciting, because it's a waste generated in Mesa County that is being reused in Mesa County," said Jennifer Richardson, the regulatory compliance manager for the Mesa County Landfill. The Hazardous Waste Collection Facility receives around 20,000 gallons of latex paint every year.

Approximately 5,000 tires roll into the landfill every year, and they have began reusing the tires as an alternative to daily cover. By shredding the tires, they can replace the soil needed for daily cover. Using mediums other than soil to cover the trash saves air space for the landfill.

The Pitkin County landfill is expected to be completely filled in the next 12-13 years. One potential solution is bringing their trash to the Mesa County Landfill. Our county commissioners are not pleased with this idea. "That landfill was built for Mesa County and for Mesa County's economic future. It is not a landfill built to handle the rubbish from the wealth out of Aspen that comes down," said Scott McInnis, the chair of the Mesa County Commissioners.

Around 550 tons of trash are brought to the Mesa County Landfill every day. Those with the landfill stress that any increase or decrease in the amount of trash would greatly affect the landfill. Many urged residents to consider recycling, in order to help extend the life of the landfill. "I look at my kids, I look at what their future has. In 24-25 years, when they're 25 and 30 years old, I hope that I set them up right," said Barrett Jensen, the solid waste director of the Mesa County Landfill.

One option for drop-off recycling is Curbside Recycling Indefinitely, Inc., which is located at 333 West Avenue. Make sure and have the recycling sorted before heading there. To find out more visit

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