City asks residents to not make trips to South Canyon Landfill unless absolutely necessary |

City asks residents to not make trips to South Canyon Landfill unless absolutely necessary

Yard waste, electronic recycling and cash payments not being accepted at this time

City of Glenwood Springs employee Nigel Brett stands in the snow waiting to greet and direct visitors to the South Canyon landfill on Thursday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Despite a statewide stay-at-home order, Glenwood Springs’ South Canyon Landfill has seen plenty of residential customers recently.

So much in fact that the landfill will no longer accept yard waste or electronic recycling at this time in an effort to minimize employee interactions with customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The landfill will still collect waste from trash hauler trucks, construction waste, household trash and recycling.

Despite the city closing all of its public facilities until April 30, the landfill has remained open.

“We saw quite an uptick in residential customers coming up with debris,” Matthew Langhorst, Glenwood Springs public works director, said. “Which was then putting our scale house operator and all of our employees in close proximity to this heavier traffic.”

According to Langhorst, the landfill’s nine employees don’t interact with large trash hauling or construction companies coming through, as they oftentimes don’t require in-person exchanges.

The landfill has also stopped accepting cash payments temporarily to further minimize in-person interactions.

With spring cleanup, the city’s free trash and brush collection service, postponed until further notice and plenty of residents stuck at home, Langhorst wasn’t surprised by the increase in landfill customers at first.

When the trend persisted, even after Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order, the city implemented additional restrictions on yard waste and electronic recycling in an effort to curb the number of residential customers to further protect the landfill’s small staff.

“The stay-at-home order asks (residents) to stay at home for non-essential things and taking your leaves and your branches to the landfill is not essential,” Langhorst said.

Langhorst acknowledged that a significant number of residents in Glenwood Springs don’t have curbside trash pickup and have no choice but to make trips to the landfill with their household trash and recycling.

It was bags of leaves, brush and other yard debris Langhorst asked residents to hold onto, at least until the pandemic alleviates.

“It’s good to clean around your house and keep those fire dangers down,” Langhorst said. “Just don’t bring it up to the landfill as of yet.”

Langhorst said the city needed to keep the South Canyon Landfill up and running for critical businesses and said it was imperative for residents to follow the rules.

While many residents have been understanding of the landfill not accepting yard waste or electronic recycling, some have not.

Due to a few “unpleasant interactions,” police will make trips to the landfill, as time allows, to help reinforce the restrictions if necessary.

Langhorst said the city might consider bringing in Citadel Security if problems continue, but said no such decision has been made at this time.

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