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The recycling champ of Glenwood Springs

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Every five minutes, about 10 cars pulled through the gate into the fenced-off property. For those five minutes, the noise of bottles and aluminum cans bouncing off each other echoed across the area.The noise is a familiar sound for Brandon Champion, 39, who supervises the Glenwood Springs recycling facility on Eleventh Street near Pitkin Avenue. The job is far different from the years of public relations work that Champion was used to since he graduated from college. But it is a job that he has thrown himself into after he arrived in Glenwood Springs last November. Technically Champion is a recycle technician for the city, but he likes to call himself a “recycling superattendant.””We really have fervent recyclers here,” Champion said. “These people really want to do the right thing.”And so far, he has been having a good time overseeing all the operations at the center.

“I have gotten good feedback and have gotten a good tan,” said Champion, who usually stands outside in the sun answering residents’ questions. “I really enjoy working with people.” Champion came to the recycling as it continues to see more and more people wanting to recycle the refuse they collect in their lives.”This place has been having exponential growth,” he said. “It’s been outstanding.”One of Champion’s duties is to monitor how many people use the facility. He said that about 180 people use the facility on Thursday when the center is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. About 300 people use the facility on Saturday when it is opened from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.”We are excited about that,” he said. “We can hopefully increase the large participation we already have.”He said the commingled glass the center recovers goes to Chicago, and recently a company in Grand Junction has been found to take household alkaline batteries, like those used for children’s toys or other electronics. One of the more rewarding aspects of working at the recycling center is helping to educate people, Champion said.

“It is a nice thing to know you helped point someone in the right direction,” he said. “It takes one tiny spark to ignite a mighty flame.”Don Paine, a Glenwood Springs resident who was at the recycling center last week, said Champion was very “motivated and proactive.””He has a lot of great ideas,” said Paine, moments after he spoke to Champion.Paine said the city’s recycling center is a real asset to the community.”Look at the use it is getting,” he said, as several cars pulled into the area. “People are certainly making use of it.”The city’s recycling center also takes cellphones and accessories because it participates in the “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program, which takes abandoned phones and later generates phone cards for soldiers to call their families while they are stationed far away.That is a special program for Champion, who served in the U.S. Army for three years. He used the benefits of serving in the military to go to the University of Arkansas, where he graduated with a degree in agriculture science.



Champion and his wife, Kristin, 38, came to the Roaring Fork Valley in November to follow Kristin’s new job as a manager at Pier One at Glenwood Meadows, he said. Champion said walking outside in Glenwood Springs is “free therapy” because of the scenery of the mountains.”I love it in Glenwood Springs,” he said. “It has exceeded all of my expectations.”Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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