Solid Waste Diversion study
Many people work to find a way of life in Grand County due to its beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife and leading outdoor recreation. But as our population increases, so do the harmful effects to our surrounding ecosystems. Limited recycling options combined with increasing trash disposal has been a long-time challenge in Grand County. Insufficient access to recycling availability results in about 18% of county residents sending all their recyclables to the landfill. Consequently, a steady increase of long-distance garbage truck hauls releasing harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and negatively impacting our environment can be seen.
To address this growing problem, the Town of Fraser led a county-wide study in 2016 which included an online survey and three public meetings in the Fraser Valley, Granby/Grand Lake, and Kremmling/Hot Sulphur Springs. Waste audits were also performed at the Granby Transfer Station and at the recycling drop-off center adjacent to Granby Ace Country Hardware. The purpose of the survey and public meetings was to gather public input on current trash and recycling options, to identify opportunities for future sustainability initiatives and lower our carbon footprint while encouraging other communities to take action. This became known as the Grand County Waste Diversion Study.
A Waste Diversion Task Force (WDTF) was then created with members throughout Grand County to analyze results from the surveys and waste audits. As a result, the Task Force members chose to further study the possibility of setting up a new trash and recycling drop site at the southern end of the county and imposing a single use plastic bag fee to encourage the utilization of reusable bags. The WDTF also advised for increasing county-wide education and outreach programs as the pathway to our future waste management and sustainability efforts.
The Grand County Waste Diversion Study has resulted in the procurement of grant funds from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to build a pay-as-you-throw trash and recycling drop off facility in Fraser known as The Drop. Conversations regarding implementation of a single use bag fee for local grocers are also in the works.
You can read the full report and presentation of the 2016 Grand County Waste Diversion Study below.