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Recycling Center aims to grow with grant, volunteers

 

Last updated 2/13/2022 at 11:25pm

Brittany Fechko

The Fountain Recycling Center thrives with the assistance of volunteers from the community.

The city-owned Fountain Recycling Center, already well-known for its multiple identities (recycling, community garden, lending library, and greenhouse), wants to add a couple more with the help of a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Recycling Center supervisor Bill Fenlon says the grant would be part of the State's "Zero Waste" drive to reduce the amount of methane gas produced by garbage, which will in turn help reduce the number of landfills.

Fenlon said the grant money will be used for three projects: composting food waste; cardboard recycling; and mulching. The center already handles cardboard, but the mulching and composting will be new services. Fenlon says by buying a cardboard baler, almost all cardboard brought to the center will be saved, whereas now about half is ruined by rain and snow. He also says the center will buy a mulching machine, which will streamline the process and ultimately the final product.

Fenlon says that the center will also buy a small tractor, which can be used in all aspects of the center's activities.

The state project is called the Front Range Waste Diversion program.

Fenlon pointed out that the center has already been diverting waste. He says last year the center had 7,140 customers who contributed 342,500 pounds of recyclable materials that didn't have to go to a landfill.

Fenlon said the additional services provided by the grant will initially be for households only. He says after the new services are up and running well, businesses will also be welcomed. Fenlon added that public support for the grant will play a part in which cities will get the money. The grant deadline is March 1.

The Center now features materials recycling, a greenhouse, a community garden, and lending library. While it's unusual for a recycling center to have that array of services, it shows the dedication of the staff to continue offering more services to the community.

The Recycling Center is located at 301 E. Iowa Ave. in Fountain. The Center's phone number is 719-639-4355. It's open Tuesday-Thursday (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) and on the first and third Saturday of every month (10-1).

Fenlon said the center always needs volunteer help from area residents, since it serves so many different functions.

"We could always use more volunteers," he said.

Brittany Fechko is one of the loyal volunteers. She got acquainted with the center through her other volunteer efforts organizing trash clean-ups all over Fountain. Recently, she has taken over responsibility for the center's community garden.

"When it comes to volunteers, Bill is looking for people to work at least one shift a week," she said. "It would be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He's looking for somebody to sit out front and direct people where to go. So while he has a volunteer up front he can tackle other tasks for the recycling center. If anybody is interested in volunteering, go to the recycling center and Bill has a form they can fill out."

She said this summer they'll be working on a free children's community garden.

Only these Recyclable materials will be accepted:

White Paper: Office and computer paper, junk mail, greeting cards and sticky notes are acceptable paper items. Cereal boxes, paper egg cartons, and other light boxes that are not corrugated.

Newspaper, Magazines, Phone Books.

Corrugated Cardboard: Moving boxes.

Plastics (stamped with the recycling logo #1 through #7): The recyclable number of plastics is usually stamped on the bottom of the containers. These containers include milk jugs, butter and margarine containers, soda pop, juice, water bottles, and detergent bottles.

Metal/Tin Cans: Includes soup, sardine and coffee cans. Please rinse out metal cans to eliminate odor and bacteria in your container. Don't worry about the labels.

Aluminum cans: Soda and beer cans. Please separate from other metals as they go in different recycle bins.

Brittany Fechko

Volunteers at the Fountain Recycling Center help operate a community garden, a lending library, and other amenities. Plans are underway for a new children's garden.

Scrap metal: Items constructed of or containing mostly metal, this includes most appliances (stoves, washers, dryers, refrigerators), yard tools (shovels, rakes, lawnmowers) bicycles, fencing, swing sets, BBQ grills, artificial Christmas trees and Christmas light strings.

Paint: The center is an authorized PaintCare.org facility.

Large appliance pick up is available by appointment. Must be within city limits.

Plastic Grocery Bags: We do not accept plastic bags as they can jam up and damage sorting equipment. However, most local grocery stores will accept these.

We do not accept televisions, electronics, batteries, mattresses, liquids, or other hazardous material at this time.

UPDATE (2-9-22): On Feb. 8, the City Council approved a new fee of $1 per vehicle for recycling drop-offs. This will go into effect March 1.

 

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