A recently conducted trash audit of five Southwest Colorado counties showed the region is drastically lagging diversion rates of recycled materials compared with the state and the country.
Last year, the combined counties – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan – disposed 86 percent of their total waste into a landfill, and only 13 percent was recycled.
Compare that with the 78 percent disposal rate in Colorado, and the even lower 66 percent rate across the country, and Miriam Gillow-Wiles, executive director for Southwest Colorado Council of Governments, said it’s plain to see the region has a problem.
“We are way behind from the rest of the state and country,” Gillow-Wiles said. “If we keep throwing away things at the 86 percent rate we have now, then what do we do when we fill up our landfills?”