Angel of Shavano Recycling completed its final day of service for Chaffee County’s recycling on April 8.
The closure of the business reaches across the county’s municipalities and surrounding towns.
Regarding a long-term solution, Chaffee County Public Affairs Officer Beth Helmke said, “At this time, the county (government) does not have a specific countywide service plan established, and thus no timeline.”
While residents wait for the local government and its local partners to develop a plan, some private recycling options are available for locals.
Helmke said it’s their understanding at the county office that waste haulers, Chaffee County Waste and Waste Management, will collect recyclable materials via curbside.
“Both trash haulers will provide residents and businesses with a single-stream bin for recyclable items. Since Waste Management was impacted by the closure of Angel of Shavano, they have not yet said what materials can go into that bin. But, we can expect an announcement to customers soon,” she said.
Chaffee County Waste accepts glass, aluminum, metal, cardboard, paper and No. 1-7 plastics. The waste company charges a fee to households.
Waste Management’s recycling service should be up and running by the end of the month. As well, homeowners are required to pay for this service.
Shamrock Disposal Services is not planning to participate, she said. At the time of this story, Shamrock could not be reached for comment.
Helmke said there are also options for “clean concrete and recyclable aggregate” through ACA Products, Inc. in Buena Vista.
Recycled aggregate is crushed cement concrete or asphalt pavement from construction debris, which is reused in other building projects.
The county government itself still offers one option: Folks can drop off their sorted aluminum and tin cans at the Chaffee County Landfill. The landfill then sells these items for recycle.
For residents and businesses that may not be able to afford recycling fees, Helmke suggests avoiding single-use packaging, as well as purchasing fewer items that end up in the waste stream.
“In the field of waste diversion, this is called ‘source reduction,’” she said.
She spoke to the benefit of individual choices, which can have a positive impact on one’s personal budget and community waste reduction.
“Residents can also consider sharing bins and the costs of services with neighbors or friends,” she said.
The issue of household cost will be discussed during upcoming work sessions held by the Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners.
For those who are not currently signed up with a local provider and have recycle buildup in their homes or office, GARNA is offering free recycling drop-off events next month.
The first event will take place in Salida on Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m.-noon at Marvin Park, 406 W. U.S. 50.
The other event will be in Buena Vista on Friday, May 21, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Buena Vista Public Works Shop, 755 Gregg Dr.
GARNA Executive Director Dominique Naccarato said residents can drop off clean No. 1-7 plastics, aluminum, glass and cardboard. Items don’t need to be presorted.
The Salida event is made possible through GARNA’s Chaffee Green Sustainability program.
Naccarato said the town of Buena Vista Public Works is a partner for the Buena Vista event, “as they are coupling the household recycling collection effort with a town cleanup effort.”
Recycling services for both events will be provided by Chaffee County Waste.