Summit County emphasizes recycling during holidays |

Summit County emphasizes recycling during holidays

A dumpster bin for recycling cardboard located at the recycling center in Frisco on Friday afternoon, Dec. 27. Residents and visitors are encouraged to recycle as much as they can during the holidays, while exercising patience during the busiest time of the year.
Deepan Dutta /

FRISCO — You may have heard the glowing news about American retail sales growing this holiday season over last. According to Mastercard’s market intelligence arm SpendingPulse, retail sales between Nov. 1 and Christmas Eve jumped 3.4% over the same period last year.

But there’s more to that story than meets the eye, according to data analysis on SpendingPulse data by The Wall Street Journal. Online sales were the primary driver of retail sales, with an 18.8% rise in sales over last year, while in-store sales only rose 1.2%. What that means is a lot of Amazon packages — including the associated cardboard, plastic, packaging and paper that gets discarded. That is a lot of material that needs to go somewhere, a lot of which ends up in the landfill.

In Summit County, the hope is that most of what can be recycled is going to the right place. The county has two main recycling centers open 24 hours in Breckenridge, located at 284 Coyne Valley Road, and Frisco, located off Peak One Drive near the County Commons. A drop site is also available in Dillon, across from the Dillon Town Hall at 275 Lake Dillon Dr. open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The holiday season is the busiest time of year for waste and recycling, with the increased volume resulting in overflowing bins in the wake of the Christmas present opening binge.

The Dillon recycling center, located at 275 Lake Dillon Drive, was recently sighted with cardboard and discarded trash strewn on the ground and around the bins, an apparent result of thoughtless patrons unhappy with full bins.

High Country Conservation Center Executive Director Jennifer Schenk said that the overflowing was an isolated incident caused by a large amount of disposal overnight between pickups on Christmas Day and night, but was still disappointed with how folks went about trashing the recycling center when they encountered an inconvenience.

“HC3 thinks it’s really unfortunate that people would just throw recycling on the ground,” Schenk said. “We think the staff is doing their very best servicing those sites as often as humanly possible.”

Schenk added that she hoped residents and visitors would be more cognizant about how busy the season is for the people who do the work hauling trash and recycling away, and to exercise patience instead of dumping their discards for others to pick up.

“We would ask the public to be patient, to remind them that these are the busiest two weeks of the year,” Schenk said. “If you see recycling bins overflowing, please take it back to your house and come back the next business day to give everyone a chance to catch up.”

As far as the most common recyclables that accumulate during the holidays, Schenk said that most of it can be properly processed and recycled. That includes cardboard boxes, wrapping paper not made with foil and free of ribbons, #1 and #2 plastic bottles (when it comes to plastic packaging, recyclability depends on the individual product), and aluminum cans.

Christmas trees can also be recycled. The town of Breckenridge offers tree recycling through Jan. 31 at the Stilson Lot, located near the intersection of Wellington Road and Bridge Street east of the town center. 

The town of Frisco has a tree drop-off lot accepting trees through Feb. 8, 2020, at the dirt lot near the entrance of the Frisco Bay Marina at the east side of the intersection of Summit Boulevard and Highway 9. 

The town of Dillon will have tree recycling at the recycling center across from the town hall. 

The town of Silverthorne has a collection site off Willowbrook Road, across the street from Trent Park at 100 Willowbrook Road.

The Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP) located at 639 Landfill Road in Dillon will also accept trees for recycling from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 31, 2020.

“HC3 wants to thank the public for recycling, and their patience,” Schenk said. “Also a huge thank you to all the haulers and SCRAP staff working so hard during the busiest time of the year.”

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