SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 BY 

Written by Anne Mudgett, Program and Development Director

Keeping valuable resources out of the landfill is all part of the Zero Waste norm that Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) is working to create in our community. At the organization’s annual Community Recycling Drop-Off on October 1 from 9 a.m. – noon at the Meadows Parking Lot, residents can responsibly recycle electronics, household hazardous waste, appliances, mattresses (new for 2016), yard waste, bikes, skis, fluorescent light bulbs, clothing, shoes, books and much more—diverting these resources from the landfill for recycling and reuse.

Since 2010, YVSC’s one-stop-drop event has become a fall ritual for residents to clear their clutter and make room for winter gear. Each year, 400-500 Routt County residents participate in the event to recycle thousands of pounds of waste.

In many other countries, manufacturers are required to pay for recycling their products. But, until more U.S. manufacturers are required to take greater responsibility for the recovery and greener design of their products, the burden of recycling will fall on consumers. While many items accepted at the Community Recycling Drop-Off are recycled at no charge, there are fees for some items. For more information, a full list of items accepted and fees, go to All fees are cash or check only.

In some cases, recyclers must first disassemble items before they can recycle them. This can be a labor-intensive process that, in the case of electronics, requires handling toxic substances. G & S Mountain Recyclers, YVSC’s partner on the Community Recycling Drop-Off, safely disassembles electronic items by hand in Longmont, keeping all recyclable materials, other than plastic, in the U.S. and providing jobs to Coloradoans with barriers to employment. Because of continued volatility in recycling markets, the nominal charge for electronic items at the Drop-Off barely covers G & S’s costs for disassembly.

A new recycling partner this fall is also providing stable jobs to disenfranchised people. Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling offers redemptive training and employment to people who were formerly incarcerated, recovering addicts, and homeless vets through environmentally-responsible mattress recycling. In the U.S., 30 million mattresses go to landfills each year. Spring Back recycles 4,000 mattresses per month at their Denver and Fort Collins facilities, providing 20 full-time jobs.

Each month, Spring Back keeps 170,000 pounds of mattress ticking, foam, steel, cotton and wood out of the landfill through recycling. The textile components are made into carpet padding or home insulation, the wood is mulched, and the steel is melted down and recycled.

“We are excited to partner with YVSC on our upcoming mattress drive, as we believe that each community throughout the state of Colorado deserves the opportunity to properly dispose of their post-consumer waste and should divert all recyclable products away from the landfills. This is just another example of the recycling community pooling their resources together to create positive impact in their community by offering citizens a sustainable disposal alternative while helping support redemptive employment,” said Christopher Conway, President of Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling.

“YVSC is thrilled to be working with Spring Back to add mattresses to the list of materials accepted at the Drop-Off and provide this valuable service to our community,” said YVSC Executive Director Sarah Jones.

The Community Recycling Drop-Off would not be possible without YVSC’s recycling partners and our volunteers. To sign up to volunteer, please go to or contact Emilie Rogers at 970-871-9299 extension 103 or

YVSC would like to thank this year’s recycling partners: Routt County Environmental Health, G & S Mountain Recyclers, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, City of Steamboat Springs, Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling, Twin Enviro Services, Milner Mall, Copper Magnate, Axis Steel, Light Works of Steamboat, Ski Haus, NAPA Auto Parts, USAgain, Safeway, PostNet, PaintCare, Eco-Cycle and Waste Management.

Important details:

Community Recycling Drop-Off
Saturday, October 1
9 a.m. – 12 p.m., gates close promptly at noon
Meadows Parking Lotcorner of Mt. Werner Rd./Pine Grove Rd.

  • This event is for residential recyclables only. No commercial drop-offs.
  • No pharmaceuticals, furniture, alkaline batteries or trash will be accepted.
  • Tax-deductible donations to YVSC are greatly appreciated to support the planning, coordination and expansion of the materials accepted at this annual event.