Expanded plastics recycling not just for Pitkin County | VailDaily.com

Expanded plastics recycling not just for Pitkin County

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesA sign at the Aspen Recycling Center spells out the sorts of plastic containers that are now accepted " Nos. 1 through 7.

ASPEN ” Aspen residents aren’t the only consumers who can now put their empty yogurt containers in with the rest of their recyclables.

Pitkin County recently expanded the types of plastic recyclables it accepts, going from only bottles labeled No. 1 and No. 2 to containers numbered 1 through 7. Consumers should check the bottom of plastic containers; those that depict the triangle symbol with a number (1 through 7) inside the triangle can be recycled along with glass, aluminum cans and the various paper products that people typically recycle.

Residents of the mid- and lower Roaring Fork Valley who contract with a waste hauler to pick up their trash and recyclables may be able to take advantage of the expanded plastics recycling, as well.

If a Pitkin County resident contracts with a hauler for recycling pickup, then the additional plastics must be part of the deal, said Chris Hoofnagle, the county’s solid waste manager.

Outside of Pitkin County, Hoofnagle can’t require haulers to accept the broader range of plastics, but appears at least some of them are doing so.

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Glenwood Springs-based Rocky Mountain Disposal and Recycling is now picking up all seven types of plastic containers throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, said a spokesperson there. The company brings the recyclables to Pitkin County, where they are bundled for transport to a recycling operation in Denver.

“We have notified almost all of our customers, if not all of them, that we take [plastics] one through seven,” the spokesperson said.

Waste Solutions, a Carbondale-based trash hauler and recycling service, is also accepting the broader range of plastics from residential customers from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and as far away as Silt, said owner Wally Graham.

Word about the expanded recycling appears to be out among valley residents, Graham said.

“People have picked up on it. The volume has increased considerably,” he said.

The increase has transport implications for Waste Solutions, Graham conceded.

“It that sense, it causes a bit of a problem, but we’re glad to see it,” he said.

Waste Solutions’ customers can put glass, aluminum containers, plastics 1-7, newspaper, white paper and magazines in their curbside recycling bin, but keeping the paper products together and separate from the plastics, glass and cans within the bin is crucial, Graham stressed. His company does not offer residential, curbside pickup of cardboard.


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