There’s more to Avon’s annual town cleanup this year: Sustainability Fair to bring the community together over smarter solutions |

There’s more to Avon’s annual town cleanup this year: Sustainability Fair to bring the community together over smarter solutions

In 2016, Marco Gennett and Caroline Harrington participated in the town of Avon's first ever town cleanup on May 14, 2016. This year, the event will look a little different. The town cleanup will be hosted alongside the first ever town of Avon Sustainability Fair. The fair will involve several sustainability experts posting up at Nottingham Park to educate the community on best practices.
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Nine years ago, the town of Avon began hosting annual springtime town cleanups. Paired with Hard 2 Recycle collections, these annual events serve as an opportunity for community members to come together and make Avon a cleaner, greener place to be. This year, the town is going a step further and hosting its first Sustainability Fair. 

On Wednesday at Nottingham Park, Avon’s annual town cleanup will be accompanied by the 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sustainability Fair. There, those participating in the cleanup can check in to get a bag and gloves and be directed to their cleanup zones. Otherwise, people will be welcome to enjoy the booths and presentations at the Sustainability Fair at their leisure and participate in the Hard 2 Recycle event.

Avon’s Sustainability Fair will host a hub of sustainable action, including a Hard 2 Recycle e-waste collection event.
Town of Avon/Courtesy photo

Avon Sustainability Coordinator Charlotte Lin said the Hard 2 Recycle event will provide the opportunity for Avon community members to dispose of e-waste that can’t be conventionally recycled. While the Sustainability Fair welcomes all to participate in the cleanup and learn about more sustainable practices, the Hard 2 Recycle event was designed to assist only Avon residents in disposing of e-waste. The Hard 2 Recycle setup can accept radios, phones, tablets, power cords, microwaves, media players, gaming consoles, cameras and more. Items that won’t be accepted include power tools, CDs, DVDs, tapes, vacuum cleaners, solar panels, lamps, appliances with refrigerants, and more. Lists detailing the acceptable and unacceptable e-waste can be found on the Town of Avon Facebook page, Lin said.

Avon Town Manager Eric Heil said that alongside the annual festivities, local organizations, businesses and sustainability experts will set up booths at the festival. There, homeowners, business owners, renters, and even kids will be able to learn how to lead more sustainable lives. Organizations with booths will have information, demonstrations, showcases and even interactive activities that aim to engage community members in better practices. 

Energy Smart Colorado, the Walking Mountains Science Center, Holy Cross Energy’s PURE Program, Vail Honeywagon, Waste Management, the Eagle County Conservation District, Evergreen Zero Waste, Eagle River Water and Sanitation, Home Depot, Active Energies Solar and Shift Bikes will all have stations at the fair. In addition to those, community members will also be able to get information on recycling, landscaping, EV testing and even E-bike rebates

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Walking Mountains Science Center Sustainability Fellow Elizabeth Baer said the organization is eager to participate in a sustainability fair right in their backyard. 

“We love working with the town of Avon and they’ve got so many cool programs that they’re doing right now and like the recycling ordinance update,” Baer said. “We’re really excited to be there and support them with that. 

Alongside the town of Avon, Baer said the Walking Mountains Science Center often works with many of the other organizations and businesses that will be represented Wednesday. Though, Baer said it will be exciting to see all those players together in one space and engaging with the community, “not just siloed into different organizations,” she said. 

At the Walking Mountains Science Center Booth, Baer said energy coaches will walk community members through rebates and incentives the organization has for energy efficiency upgrades and electrification upgrades to homes.

“We have two great energy coaches, Cody and Diego, and so they’ll be there to give really any advice that people have or answer any questions about their homes or how, for example, if you’re renting, there are ways that you can get involved and that’s harder to find on the internet,” Baer said.

The Walking Mountains booth will also feature giveaways and numerous resources breaking down pros and cons of an electrification upgrade, Baer said. 

Community members who participate in the 2023 Avon town cleanup will check in at the Sustainability Fair to receive gloves, trash bags and cleanup zone assignments.
Town of Avon/Courtesy photo

“Hopefully we’ll make Avon a little bit cleaner with that and hopefully just like, people have a good time and make some good connections with what they can be doing for sustainability and making connections with other people and hopefully make some friends in the sustainability space,” Baer said. 

Holy Cross Energy Community Outreach Coordinator Maisa Metcalf said the Holy Cross Energy’s PURE program booth will allow community members to sign up for renewable energy rather than fossil fuel-produced energy. 

“It’s a good way to participate if you cannot install solar on your own roof or if maybe you’re a tenant—things like that,” Metcalf said. 

While the PURE program will be Holy Cross Energy’s focus at the Sustainability Fair, Metcalf said the provider’s booth will also promote other programs such as the Power+ electric vehicle battery efficiency program as well as the Charge at Home, Charge at Work program which encourages electric vehicle charging between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Metcalf said Holy Cross representatives there will answer questions about these programs or about electrification, rebate financing, or anything sustainability-related. 

“We’re going to have some new swag—sunglasses, water bottles and things like that,” Metcalf said. “But we’re just excited to be present to talk to the community about all the different programs and services we offer.”

Alongside info from the experts, community members can enjoy free food and beer from Ein Prosit at the fair while supplies last. Heil also said the fair will be a plastic-free event, like many other events in Avon. So, attendees and clean-up participants are suggested to bring a reusable water bottle. 

On par with the sustainable theme of the event, organizers are encouraging attendees to utilize public transportation, walking, bikes or other eco-friendly modes of transportation to and from the Sustainability Fair.

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