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Sustainability Tip: Prevent dumping by planning ahead this spring cleaning season

Nina Waysdorf
Walking Mountains Science Center

The weather is (mostly) warm, which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite springtime activity: cleaning!

Spring cleaning can be freeing and cathartic, but without a plan it can end in a panic. Too often we’re left overwhelmed and just over it, and the urge to simply throw everything away creeps closer and closer. Even the most avid recyclers and composters among us can let the potential stress of spring cleaning get in the way. But that’s a real missed sustainability opportunity.

It’s likely that much of what you’re spring cleaning away can be reused, repurposed, donated or recycled.



To prevent dumping, plan ahead this year so you don’t get swamped. Follow these tips to keep calm and (sustainably) clean on.

  1. Keep up with your waste and don’t forget about your normal recycling routines. If you run out of room in your recycling bin, you can always use the free recycling drop sites located throughout the county. Consider signing up for a compost program if you haven’t already, so you can keep even more waste out of the landfill. Look into EverGreen ZeroWaste and Vail Honeywagon for business and residential compost options.
  2. Identify our local donation and reuse outlets. Items like clothes, shoes and furniture don’t go in your recycling bin but can often be donated and reused locally, a much better option than landfilling. Vail Valley Cares Thrifty Shops in Edwards and Eagle and the Habitat ReStore in Eagle are great options. Check with those organizations for accepted items. There are also textile donation boxes at the landfill and the Vail, Avon and Eagle recycling drop sites.
  3. Compost your yard waste. Yard waste makes for great compostable material but often needs to be collected separately from food scraps. Check with Vail Honeywagon for compost drop off options. Town of Eagle residents can also enroll in the yard waste drop site program.
  4. Keep organized to consolidate trips. Many hard to recycle items need to be dropped off, and there are even more hard to recycle diversion opportunities worth taking advantage of in Denver and Boulder. Planning your routes in advance will save time and gas.
  5. For all your other questions, check the Eagle County Waste Wizard app. Find recycling outlets, donation opportunities, safe disposal options and more by searching materials on the Waste Wizard. It’s available for free on the app store and google play, and as a web platform. You can also find upcoming hard to recycle events where you can conveniently recycle electronic waste, yard and more.

Nina Waysdorf is the Sustainability Programs Coordinator at Walking Mountains Science Center and a lover of spring, cleaning and all.




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