Summit County residents surprise at county’s first electronic, pharmaceutical collection
February 13, 2015
Summit County residents surprised local officials when 620 cars arrived with electronic and pharmaceutical waste for the county's first recycling event of those materials.
"It was awesome to see how many people really do care and how appreciative they all were," said Aaron Byrne, director of Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP).
He praised the work of volunteers, county managers, High Country Conservation Center and Sheriff's Office employees on hand to help out at the event Saturday, Jan. 31.
Byrne said the county collected 90,000 pounds, or 45 tons, of electronic waste including old TVs, computers and printers that contain materials that could harm water supplies and ecosystems if not disposed of properly.
According to the Summit County Sheriff's Office, which collected unwanted pharmaceutical drugs to be destroyed, 25 five-gallon bags of medications were collected that weighed about 100 pounds total.
Byrne said he expects to receive a more detailed breakdown by type of waste in the future.
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Assistant county manager Thad Noll said the crowds of people dropping off items were patient as many waited more in a line that stretched nearly to Main Street in Frisco for 45 minutes or more.
NO CHANGES TO WINTER MOTORIZED USE YET
Federal officials with the U.S. Forest Service recently released a new rule that requires national forests to designate motorized and non-motorized winter uses of public lands, but folks in Summit County won't see any changes to where they can and can't use snowmobiles and other motorized equipment in the near future.
White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said the forest completed a travel management plan in 2011, after a seven-year process, that already designates trails and complies with the new national rule.
On the Dillon Ranger District in Summit County, district ranger Bill Jackson said, "We're ahead of the curve on that one."
Fitzwilliams acknowledged motorized use of national forest trails and public land has evolved in the years since the White River's later travel management plan was completed.
Forest leaders will soon start to address the growing prevalence of fat tire biking and other uses, he said, and make adjustments to the travel management plan with public input.
COPPER TO AWARD INDIVIDUAL ENVIRONMENTAL GRANTS
Copper Mountain Resort's parent company, Powdr Corp., announced the return of a grant program for individuals with ideas to protect their local environments, called Protect Your Playground.
For the second year, Powdr has committed $40,000 across its properties in grant funds to empower individuals of all ages to develop solutions for environmental issues that affect their local natural playgrounds and communities.
"Powdr is passionate about reducing our carbon footprint to protect the places we live, work and play," said Brent Giles, chief sustainability officer for Powdr. "Protect Your Playground was created to provide innovative, environmentally-minded individuals with the resources they need to turn their ideas into action and impact within their own communities. We believe that together we can make systematic, lasting contributions to preserve and enhance our playgrounds for generations to come."
Applicants can request up to $2,500 in funding. Grants are reserved for individuals; no money will be awarded to nonprofits or corporations.
All applications must be submitted by March 1. Copper Mountain's Green Team will narrow down submissions to their top choices, and winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.
For more information, visit protectyourplayground.org.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggests planning now for spring and summer getaways at Colorado state parks.
"Our most popular camping sites fill up six months in advance so planning now could get vacationers a prime camping spot," said CPW reservations coordinator Mercedes Schwall.
Studies have shown camping improves mood, reduces stress and syncs people's natural circadian rhythms.
CPW manages more than 3,900 campsites and 50 cabins and yurts throughout the state at elevations ranging from about 3,800 to 9,400 feet.
Amenities at many parks include restrooms, electrical hookups and showers.
Many also offer campsites or cabins for large groups, and almost 300 campsites are ADA accessible.
Camping fees range from $10 to $26, not including reservation fees and park passes, which are required of all vehicles. Annual parks passes are $70; daily parks passes are $8 to $9.
For more information, call 303-470-1184 or visit http://cpw.state.co.us/buyapply/Pages/Reservations.aspx.
TRACKING COLORADO'S OIL SPILLS
In the midst of Colorado's oil and gas boom, one organization is tracking the potential harm to the state's land, air, water and communities through oil and chemical spills caused by drilling and production activities.
The Center for Western Priorities aims to protect land, water and communities in the West by advancing responsible conservation and energy practices and promoting accountability.
According to data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the center used to design an infographic, there were 712 spills in 2014, meaning that two spills occurred every day in Colorado.
160 spills contained oil
51 spills contained more than five barrels of oil (210 gallons), and 57 spills spilled an ambiguous or unknown amount of oil
11 percent of the spills contaminated water, and hundreds of spills occurred within a half mile of surface water, ground water or water wells.
60 spills occurred within the 500-foot setback from buildings
Noble Energy caused the most spills of any operator in Colorado, and Kerr McGee, WPX Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources and Bonanza Creek combined with Noble to cause more than half of all spills
More information about the spills is available at westernpriorities.org/colorado-toxic-release-tracker-2014-summary, and an online map of the spills can be found at spillmapper.westernpriorities.org/