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Community Recycling Drop-Off set for Sept. 23

Article adapted from the Steamboat TodayYVSC Recycling Drop off photo

Start gathering those items that have been cluttering your garage, load up your car, and do the right thing with your hard-to-recycle materials at Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s Community Recycling Drop Off from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Meadows Parking Lot.

Since 2010, this one-stop-drop event has become a fall ritual to clean out and make room for winter gear with 500-plus Routt County residents participating to recycle thousands of pounds of materials.

Through all of our programs, YVSC strives for the triple bottom line of sustainability – environment, economy and social equity. Our waste diversion program is no different and we are proud to work with recycle partners who have this same approach.

Many recyclers must first disassemble items before they can recycle them. This can be a labor-intensive process for mattresses and, in the case of electronics, requires handling toxic substances. YVSC makes sure each recycling hauler that participates in the Drop-Off is recycling responsibly. Blue Star Recyclers and Spring Back Mattress Recycling safely disassemble electronics and mattresses by hand in Denver, keeping all recyclable materials in the U.S., and both ensure the safety of their employees.

Blue Star Recyclers and Spring Back Mattress Recycling are also social enterprises. Blue Star Recycling creates electronics recycling jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities. Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling offers redemptive training and employment to people who were formerly incarcerated, recovering addicts, and homeless vets through environmentally-responsible recycling.

Ski Haus has been a partner since the inaugural Drop-Off event and collects gently-used shoes, wine corks and bike tires and tubes. Shoes go to Soles for Soles in Golden, where they replace insoles and laces as needed and then distribute them to shelters and families in need. Wine corks go to Sole foot beds and are turned into insoles for shoes that Ski Haus sells. Now that’s full circle!

Books are collected through Eco-Cycle of Boulder who sorts the books and distributes them to Boulder County schools and more than 40 Front Range social service nonprofits to promote literacy in at-risk populations. Remaining books go to a Colorado reuse company.

For a comprehensive list of items accepted, fees and details on how each item is responsibly recycled, go to http://www.yvsc.org. Credit cards will be accepted for many items this year, including electronics.

In an effort to capture more hard-to-recycle materials from our community, YVSC is offering a Commercial Recycling Drop-Off from 1 to 4 p.m. following the community event. This is for businesses and by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or learn more, contact cameron@yvsc.org or visit http://www.yvsc.org.

Thank you for keeping recyclable materials out of the landfill and preserving what we all treasure about the Yampa Valley—our world-class snow, serene forests, pure air and clean water. This event would not be possible without YVSC’s recycling partners and volunteers. To sign up to volunteer, please go to http://www.yvsc.org/volunteer, email cameron@yvsc.org or call 970-871-9299 ext. 107.

Cameron Hawkins is the waste diversion director with the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.