Summit County Government

Posted on: May 12, 2016

Summit County Adds Old Clothing to List of Accepted Items at Annual Recycling Event

Photo of two men carrying a large TV.

Free drop-off event for electronics, household hazardous waste, textiles and pharmaceuticals takes place Saturday, May 21

Contacts:
Thad Noll, Assistant County Manager
970-453-3438, thad.noll@summitcountyco.gov
Aaron Byrne, Director, Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP)
970-468-9263, aaron.byrne@summitcountyco.gov

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County will hold its free annual recycling event in concert with Countywide Cleanup Day, on Saturday, May 21. And this year, the county is adding textiles to the list of accepted special-waste items, which also includes electronics, household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals.

“We’re always looking for new strategies to conserve resources, protect water quality and help divert material from the landfill, so we’re excited to be able to accept a whole new category of items at this year’s recycling event,” Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “And the event comes just in time for spring cleaning, when everyone is clearing out their closets and garages.”

The recycling event, free to all Summit County residents and property owners, is funded through the Summit County Safety First Fund, approved by voters in November 2014. Collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Summit Stage Bus Barn, 0222 County Shops Rd., Frisco, next to the County Commons. During last year’s events, Summit County collected 94.5 tons of electronics, 239 pounds of pharmaceuticals and 18.8 tons of household hazardous waste.

“In this program’s first year, the Summit community really came out in force and showed an incredible level of dedication to protecting our amazing mountain environment,” said Aaron Byrne, director of the Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP). “This has been a huge win for our lakes, rivers, streams and wildlife.”

Accepted textiles include worn-out clothes, shoes, accessories (e.g., hats, handbags, belts), towels, bedding, drapes and linens, all of which will be collected by the Denver division of USAgain, which has been in the textile collection business for 16 years. The company resells all items collected to wholesale buyers, thrift store chains and textile recyclers. Carpet and pillows are not accepted. Residents are encouraged to bring items in good condition to local thrift stores, rather than to the recycling event.

Accepted household hazardous waste items include paints, stains, pesticides, fertilizers, cleansers, solvents, adhesives and mercury thermometers and switches. Materials must be in their original containers and/or clearly labeled. Household hazardous waste items not accepted at this event, but accepted onsite at the SCRAP, include antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, kerosene, batteries and motor oil. Items not accepted at the SCRAP or at the event include explosives, ammunition, infectious waste, propane tanks and radioactive materials.

When household hazardous waste is improperly disposed of, or dumped down drains or storm sewers, it can seriously damage water quality and aquatic habitats. All household hazardous waste collected during the event will be disposed of by Veolia and Green Sheen, with whom Summit County has contracted to ensure the highest standards of safety and pollution control.

Electronics items accepted at the event include computers, monitors, printers, phones, audio equipment, TVs, tablets and electronics accessories. Colorado law prohibits disposal of electronic devices in landfills. When these products do end up in the landfill, they can leach toxic pollutants into soil and water.

The electronics collection will be facilitated by Electronic Recyclers International, which will disassemble or shred all materials and recycle 100 percent of the constituent materials. The company will physically destroy all hard drives and data storage devices to protect against theft of personal data.

Accepted pharmaceutical items include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medication samples, vitamins, prescribed narcotics, medicated lotions and ointments, and unopened transdermal skin patches. All pills, capsules and tablets should be removed from their original containers and placed in a plastic bag. Items not accepted include liquid medications, inhalers, needles, lancets, thermometers, infectious waste, personal care products, medical marijuana, business waste and aerosol cans.

When pharmaceuticals are disposed of in landfills or flushed down toilets or drains, they can pollute water supplies and impact wildlife. Expired or unused medications that are left in medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse or abuse. More than 40 percent of Colorado teens say it’s easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will document and destroy all pharmaceuticals collected at the event.

For Summit residents and property owners who can’t make it to the event, the SCRAP also accepts household hazardous waste and electronics for free drop-off onsite during regular business hours, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays, in order to increase the convenience of special waste disposal. Proof of residency or property ownership is required.

Non-narcotic pharmaceuticals may be disposed of at drop-off bins at City Market stores in Breckenridge and Dillon year round. Narcotics are accepted in the secure drop-off bin at the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge.

High Country Conservation Center is recruiting volunteers to assist with the May 21 collection event. For more information about Summit County’s collection, disposal and recycling of special waste, or to volunteer, contact the High Country Conservation Center at 970-668-5703, or visit www.highcountryconservation.org.

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