GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.– The average American produces around 4.9 pounds of garbage a day. About 32 percent of that gets recycled each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“In Colorado, we’re actually below the national average. Here in Colorado, we’re at about 16 percent. We know Colorado could do a lot better,” Geoff Crumbaugh, who works for Curbside Recycling Indefinitely Incorporated, or GJCRI.
Recycling isn’t important just for the environment, it’s also good for the economy.
“There are hundreds of Mesa county residents that benefit from stable year-round employment within the recycling industries,” says Merissa Snyder, the Community Outreach Coordinator of GJCRI. “They’re gonna take their paycheck and they’re going to the local coffee shop. They’re purchasing fuel. They’re shopping at a local business. And that money is staying in the community.” Snyder also says recycling creates six times the number of jobs throwing waste in a landfill does. Jobs, she points out, that are necessary, stable, and local.
“There are trash collectors, long haul truckers, there are equipment operators, there are chemists, engineers, product designers,” Snyder lists, “There’s a whole economic chain. Many many types of jobs are supported by the recycling industry.”
There are many ways to recycle. If you live in Grand Junction city limits, GJCRI can come right to your curb to pick up your recycleables. You can also drop it off at their location on West Avenue.
But no matter how you do it, Snyder says recycling is a gift that keeps giving.
“Your glass bottles or steel cans can be used over and over and over again, so when we put things that are valuable in the landfill, we’re throwing it away,” says Snyder.