What happens when Colorado stays home? Lots of residential trash, for one thing. | SummitDaily.com

What happens when Colorado stays home? Lots of residential trash, for one thing.

From haulers to recyclers to landfills, the coronavirus changed the way they do business. And some of the changes just might stick.

Residents of Larimer County bring their recyclable items to the Waste Management Recycling Center and crews work with Area 5A at the Larimer County Landfill on July 12, 2018 in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Courtesy Kathryn Scott

In the past five weeks, Colorado residents have stocked up on everything from food to toilet paper. They’ve shifted their domestic habits to order takeout in support of local restaurants. They’ve gone online to save their consumer muscles from atrophy.

The stay-at-home restrictions handed down from Gov. Jared Polis in mid-March have certainly scaled back how Coloradans conduct daily life, but they’ve also generated two things in abundance: Residential trash and recycling.

Lou Perez, the interim solid waste director for Larimer County, sees it every day at the landfill near Fort Collins.

“We’re getting a bombardment of the public here,” Perez says. “It’s funny how many folks have been coming here since shelter in place. Our residential customers, the self-haulers who bring in waste from their own home, have almost tripled in volume.”

The closure of many businesses has virtually eliminated some trash pickup, but Colorado consumers have come close to making up for it. With homes occupied for much longer periods than normal during the shutdown, residents accumulate more refuse and recycling in a shorter period of time.

Read the full story on coloradosun.com.

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