3071 US Highway 50
Grand Junction, CO 81503
P.O. Box 20,000
Grand Junction, CO 81502-5001
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|Jennifer Richardson, Mesa County Solid Waste and Sustainability Division Director, was named Recycler of the Year by Recycle Colorado.|
Jennifer Richardson, Mesa County Solid Waste and Sustainability Division Director, was honored with this year’s Recycler of the Year award by Recycle Colorado at the Annual Recycling Award Ceremony on Wednesday, June 16.
Recycle Colorado is a nonprofit that works throughout the state to advance waste diversion infrastructure while also focusing on local policies that target waste reduction and recovery. Each year, Recycle Colorado celebrates members whose efforts have increased waste diversion and helped make our state a more sustainable place.
“I am honored to have received this award,” said Jennifer Richardson, Mesa County Solid Waste and Sustainability Division Director. “I am so fortunate to be able to advocate for Mesa County on sustainability and waste reduction on a statewide level and be a strong voice for our county’s waste diversion issues.”
|Jennifer Richardson (right) manages a waste sort event at the Mesa County Landfill as part of a Waste Study.|
Jennifer represents Mesa County on Recycle Colorado’s Western Slope Council and is a leader on the Western Slope.
“Jennifer’s tireless work in waste diversion is making significant impacts not only in Mesa County but also in the surrounding landfills that look to Mesa County as a role model,” said Scott McInnis, Mesa County Commissioner.
Here are a few recent initiatives Jennifer has led:
- When the Western Slope Council created an action group to address residents’ need to better understand what can be recycled and where to take it, Jennifer led the way in finding a solution. That is when she discovered an app-based recycling guide utilized by many communities on the Front Range. The Western Slope Council then suggested that a pilot be initiated, and, once again, Jennifer stepped up and took action. She partnered with EverGreen ZeroWaste to create an app-based “Zero Waste Guide” for the Grand Valley, which launched on Earth Day this year. The recycling guide app can be downloaded to any Apple or Google Play device. It can also be accessed by visiting www.lovezerowaste.com.
- Each month Jennifer co-hosts the radio show and podcast “Going Green” on local radio station KAFM. The show offers tips for increasing our individual contribution to environmental health and quality of life in the Grand Valley. This spring, Jennifer celebrated a year of Going Green.
- Mesa County owns and operates the only commercial composting facility in the county. The facility is utilized by residents and businesses who bring in over 1,200 cubic yards of yard waste each week. While this is a tremendous amount of material diverted from the landfill, Jennifer continues to expand the operation. She does not shy away from working with her community partners to think of ways to help bring food waste and curbside green waste pickup to Mesa County.
|Jennifer Richardson (right) and Deb Bonzek with "The Plastic Monk."|
Western Colorado Waste Diversion Study
In 2018, Mesa County Solid Waste Management was awarded an $86,864 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to fund a regional waste diversion study. The grant is part of CDPHE's Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) program. Souder, Miller & Associates (SMA) was hired by Mesa County to lead the study and prepare a report.
The four-county study area included Mesa, Delta, Gunnison, and Montrose counties. The purpose was to gather information needed to optimize waste reduction and diversion efforts in this region. The study included five waste composition audits, four stakeholder meetings, a stakeholder survey, gap analysis, and a final report. The report was submitted to the CDPHE on March 21, 2019. Click here to read the submitted report.
The Mesa County Solid Waste Management team would like to thank all of the stakeholders and community members who participated in this Regional Waste Diversion Study.
Mesa County Solid Waste Management
Mesa County Solid Waste Management wins Program Innovation Award
Mesa County Solid Waste Management was honored with the Program Innovation Award by the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) at the 2017 NAHMMA National Conference in Clearwater, Fla. Aug. 17 for the utilization of waste latex paint as alternative daily cover for the Mesa County Landfill.
The prestigious award recognizes unique and effective innovations in hazardous household waste, including best recycling, reuse strategies, best documented educational strategies resulting in positive behavior change, and/or best-documented hazard reduction. NAHMMA is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization committed to pollution prevention, product stewardship, and the safe and effective handling of hazardous materials.
“This is big for us—we are one of three entities awarded in Colorado, it puts our state on the map and shows the Western Slope is not lacking in innovation within our respected industries,” Mesa County Solid Waste Director Barrett Jensen said. “It is a great achievement, and it took every person in the Solid Waste Management team to make it happen.”
In 2013, Mesa County Solid Waste discovered that latex paint, collected at the Hazardous Household Waste Facility, mixed with commercial spray slurry, could be used as an alternative daily cover at the landfill instead of shipping the paint off-site for recycling or disposal. The daily cover is applied atop a day's accumulation of waste to prevent the interaction between the waste and the air, reducing odors.
“Last year the Hazardous Household Waste Facility provided the landfill approximately 3,800 gallons of waste latex paint and saved about $11,300 in disposal fees,” Jensen added. “The use of waste latex paint in the alternative daily cover process has proved to be a success and cost savings for the landfill and Hazardous Household Waste Facility.”
The Mesa County Landfill was the first landfill in Colorado to utilize waste latex paint as daily cover.