Recyclers trash recycling center |

Recyclers trash recycling center

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonDorothy Zinn, of Rifle, stands on the edge of the wooden bridge where piles of cardboard boxes were placed at the Glenwood Springs Recycling Center Thursday morning. LadyHawke,

While Glenwood Springs Recycling Center manager LadyHawke was away from her duties during the past two weeks, things went to heck in a handbasket at the center.

“A couple guys were filling in and what happened was one of the bins was not emptied properly,” she said. “I don’t know why, but people literally put cardboard out on the deck between the bins, at least as high as my knees, plus a lot of trash. I get back and there is trash everywhere, glass all over the place.”

Since it opened in January of last year, the recycling center has grown in use, drawing recyclers from across the valley.

After three hours of cleanup duty at the center, LadyHawke was frustrated.

“It’s the responsibility of people who come there to drop off their recyclables to make sure items are placed in the proper bins and if there’s no room, they should take their items home and come back another time,” she said.

LadyHawke is on duty while the center is open, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The center has five bins, each of which is marked for specific items: phone books; cardboard; office paper (shredded, white or colored paper); newspaper and magazines including inserts and junk mail, and a co-mingle bin for plastic bottles Nos. 1 and 2, all food cans (aluminum, steel and tin) glass bottles and jars.

“We really take quite a bit stuff but it’s getting very busy on Saturday. We’re looking at 100 people,” LadyHawke said.

In fact, it’s so popular, she’s now getting calls asking to for the center to stay open seven days a week, and without fencing so that it is always open to the public. But doing so would only compound the dumping problem, she said.

“Almost any day people dump at the gate. Can you imagine what it would look like 24/7? It would look like a city dump.

“People need to take responsibility and I’ll take mine,” she added, appealing to people not to leave recycling items at the gate, to put items in the appropriate bin and if the bin is full to come back another time.

“I have had a couple people, regulars, who have called me and said this makes us look bad. It’s not everybody obviously or we would have a serious problem. The majority of the people are taking responsibility. They’re very conscientious and doing a wonderful job … but the dumping needs to stop.”

One of the recycling regulars, Diana Kaufman, of Glenwood Springs, took issue with LadyHawke, saying it was understandable why people left their recycling at the center even though some of the bins were full.

“It’s a lot of work to get it there in the first place. You have to rinse out bottles and cans. It took me 20 minutes to get ready. … When I got there everything was full. It took 15 minutes to put everything into containers. I did leave one thing out, but it’s better than putting it in the trash,” she said.

“I understand a lot of people don’t want to take all their recycling home. It’s very inconvenient to have to leave it in the car (especially if) you’re from another city. … I don’t have a problem leaving it there personally,” she added.

Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510

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