Peak & Prairie
June / July 1999
Will You Help Clean Up This Mess?
by Vicki Mercer, Chapter Solid Waste Chair
The Rocky Mountain Chapter is seeking a volunteer recycling and solid waste leader to chart a course, and recruit and work with activists, to address Colorado’s solid waste challenges. The solid waste stream (lovely image, eh?) is the stuff we send to so-called “sanitary” landfills, and all too infrequently, to recycling centers.
Currently, we reward waste hogs and penalize recyclers. In most Colorado communities, people pay extra for curbside recycling (if it’s even available), while folks drag extra cans to the curb for landfill disposal at no added cost! It’s unfair, and it discourages recycling. The status quo ensures that Colorado will continue to lag far behind in recycling rates. The Sierra Club supports “pay-as-you-throw” disposal rates combined with no-cost (or very low-cost) curbside recycling in all urban and quasi-urban areas.
Many of us believe that getting the state to reduce the waste overload and inequities, as Washington State did with its “Waste-Not Washington Act of 1989,” isn’t possible given Colorado’s current political climate. The good news is that we can still get -as-you-throw” to happen in local communities, such as Loveland (where the recycling rate is highest in Colorado) and, to a lesser degree, in Grand Junction.
As the Chapter’s Solid Waste Chair, I need to pass the torch, because I’m buried in Western Slope wilderness and forest issues. I can’t do justice as chair, but I’ll be a committee member while you get your feet wet (or dirty, as the case may be).
To volunteer, contact Kirk Cunningham, Conservation Committee Chair, email@example.com, 303-939-8519, or Vicki Mercer Vmercer@gj.net, 970-464-0502. We’ll be happy to talk trash with you.
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