Community Agriculture Alliance: Decreasing waste; protecting our climate, way of life |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Decreasing waste; protecting our climate, way of life

Community Agriculture Alliance

If you go

What: Community Recycling Drop-Off

When: 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 1

Where: Meadows parking lot

More information: Visit for materials accepted and fees. Cash or check, only. This event is for residential recycling, only.

“Thanks for being here.”

That’s something Yampa Valley Sustainability Council YVSC staff and volunteers heard over and over again at our Zero Waste stations during events this summer.

With the Zero Waste event season wrapped up, YVSC thanks you, our community, and our Zero Hero volunteers, local event coordinators and Zero Waste sponsors. You helped keep 91 percent of waste out of the landfill at 54 large public events such as the Free Summer Concert Series and Farmers’ Market. By replacing overflowing trash cans with compost and recycle bins at events, not only are we showing our many visitors how much our community really cares about the environment, but we are also decreasing our carbon footprint.

In addition to Zero Waste events, YVSC’s waste diversion efforts are encouraging reduction, repairs, reuse and recycling in our community through programs such as Yampa Valley Recycles, Sustainable Schools and our new food rescue initiative.

YVSC has just started working with The Cabin restaurant at the Steamboat Grand and Horizons Specialized Services to rescue surplus banquet food to provide nutritious meals for Horizons’ independent clients. Building on CMC’s student-led Food Recovery Network, YVSC is working to recruit two more restaurants to donate uneaten food to people who need it, so contact us if you are interested in getting involved.

Another of YVSC’s waste diversion efforts is our comprehensive Community Recycling Drop-Off. This annual, one-stop-drop event has become a fall ritual for residents to make space in their garages before winter arrives and responsibly recycle electronics, household hazardous waste, appliances, yard waste, bikes, skis, clothing, shoes, books and more. New for 2016, we will accept mattresses for recycling.

While many items at the Drop-Off are accepted at no charge, there are fees for some items, especially electronics. Visit for a full list of items accepted and fees. Electronics recyclers must first disassemble all items before they can recycle them, a labor-intensive process that often requires handling toxic substances. Our partner, G & S Mountain Recyclers, safely disassembles electronic items by hand in Colorado, providing jobs to people with barriers to employment.

Since 2010, more than 3,050 dedicated recyclers have participated in the Drop-Off to keep significant resources out of the landfill. By recycling 134,500 pounds of electronics, our community has prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 100 cars off the road for a year.

So, start gathering all those items that have been cluttering up your home all summer, load up your car on Oct. 1 and do the right thing with your hard-to-recycle materials. And, thank you for joining YVSC in preserving what we all treasure about the Yampa Valley — our world-class snow, serene forests, pure air and clean water.

Anne Mudgett is program and development director for Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

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