Sustainability has been a consistent priority for the City of Grand Junction. In February 2022, the City solidified its commitment when it purchased CRI.
Jennifer Redmond was an apprentice equipment operator that worked for CRI for four years. After City ownership, Jennifer and CRI staff became employees of the City of Grand Junction. Jennifer is excited and is incredibly pleased with how the recycling center is growing. "Now that the City owns the recycling center, we have the resources to grow and build bigger," Jennifer said. The City began a food compost pilot program in October 2022 and plans to add a new seasonal green waste recycling program for grass clippings in the spring of 2023. Additionally, the City will roll out a new pilot program for dual-stream automated recycling collection in March of 2023, which will allow for six times the amount of recycling to be picked up on a daily basis.
Along with the expansion of the recycling center, Jennifer is also thrilled about the benefits that come with being a City employee. "The benefits that the City offers are amazing,” she said. In addition to medical, dental, and vision benefits, the City also offers free mental health support, gym discounts, and even online classes on topics like financial literacy, which Jennifer has found quite helpful. "It's nice to have an employer that truly cares about their people," she said. "The City has employee appreciation days and is always working to help improve the workplace environment."
Jennifer is excited about the new programs, including the compost program, which kicked off with a handful of restaurants in town and she expects it to grow quickly. "The City will help us get people to really understand how important it is to recycle,” she said. “We hope to grow the compost program to include schools and hospitals,” she said. “It’s a learning experience for everyone and it is very exciting.”
As far as the new dual-stream automated recycling goes, it is slated to begin in March 2023. According to Kym Beck, the recycling and waste reduction supervisor, "moving to a dual-stream automated collection allows us to pick up 600 houses a day versus 100 houses a day." “Grand Junction is smart to move in this direction,” she said, “as most communities only have a single stream.”
Kym has been with the Recycling Center for 17 years, in large part because she believes so strongly in the importance of recycling. “I love what I do and want to make a difference,” she said. “We only have one planet and I want to see it last for my grandbabies.”
The City of Grand Junction’s recycling department offers curbside recycling for residential homes and dwellings four-plex and under. All products listed in the Recycling Guide (PDF) are sent to market and never landfilled. Those materials that are accepted have a strong, domestic market and will be recycled as it arrives at the recycling facility and meets guidelines.