Sarah Jones: Thank you for recycling |

Sarah Jones: Thank you for recycling

Saturday, Oct. 1, was the annual Community Recycling Drop-Off hosted by Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) at the Meadows Parking Lot.

Since 2010, this one-stop-drop event has become a fall ritual for residents to clear clutter and make room for winter gear. This year, we kicked off the morning Steamboat-style with a hot air balloon fly-by, and the day just got better from there.

We would like to thank all of you who came to recycle on Saturday. Nearly 570 people participated this year — 160 more than 2015 and our largest participation ever. We know the lines were long, but we appreciate this community’s commitment to doing the right thing with their hard-to-recycle materials. Keeping valuable resources out of the landfill is truly becoming the norm in Routt County.

Along with record-breaking participation came record-breaking volumes of materials collected, such as 30,000 pounds of electronics like computers, monitors and TVs — a 54 percent increase from last year. By recycling these materials, our community saved the energy needed to power 30 U.S. households for one year.

Other collection highlights: 7,427 pounds of paint, motor oil and other household hazardous waste; 83 mattresses and box springs; 39 bikes; 40 cubic yards of yard waste; 411 fluorescent light bulbs; 2,500 books; 60 cubic yards of metal and appliances; and 10 cubic yards of skis. (That’s a lot of skis. If you were lucky enough to get a peek, it was like seeing old friends — many iconic models that would bring a smile to the face of any skier over the age of 20.)

Response to the event was so tremendous that some of our recycling partners hit their limit before noon and were unable to accept any more materials. If you were unable to recycle your paint or other materials — or you missed the drop-off this year — please visit or go directly to to download YVSC’s Recycling Guide. The A-Z guide includes year-round, local recycling options for materials like paint, appliances and electronics.

Paint was a popular material on Saturday and can be recycled locally throughout the year. As part of the Colorado PaintCare stewardship program, consumers can take leftover latex paint to Ace Hardware or Sherwin-Williams. There is no charge to drop off, but there is a 5-gallon limit per visit.

Since 2013, it has been illegal in Colorado to dispose of electronic devices in the landfill. Unfortunately, electronics recycling fees can be very expensive. This is because electronics recyclers must first disassemble all items, a labor-intensive process that often requires handling toxic substances.

YVSC typically hosts an electronics collection in the spring, so stay tuned for more details. Based on the popularity of the fall drop-off, we may expand the spring collection to include additional materials.

As a nonprofit organization, YVSC relies on the help of close to 50 volunteers and our many recycling partners to make the Community Recycling Drop-Off possible. YVSC deeply appreciates all the individuals who helped set up, directed traffic, unloaded cars and hauled heavy loads.

We would also like to thank the many organizations involved: Routt County Environmental Health, G & S Mountain Recyclers, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling, Twin Enviro Services, Milner Mall, Copper Magnate, Axis Steel, Light Works of Steamboat, Ski Haus, NAPA Auto Parts, USAgain, Safeway, PostNet, PaintCare, Eco-Cycle, city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs High School NHS and Ristretto Coffee Lounge.

Thanks for recycling Routt County and for preserving what we all treasure about the Yampa Valley — our world-class snow, serene forests, pure air and clean water.

Sarah Jones

YVSC executive director

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