Pitkin County, Colorado, launches initiative aimed at reducing C&D waste

Pitkin County, Colorado, launches initiative aimed at reducing C&D waste

To obtain a Pitkin County building or demolition permit under the new regulations, the project owner will now pay a deposit based on the total estimated waste that will be produced by the project. The deposit is fully refunded if a project owner diverts at least 25 percent of their construction debris from the landfill and avoids trashing recyclable materials like concrete, scrap metal and others.

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October 21, 2020

Pitkin County, Colorado, announced Oct. 20 it is launching a new program to encourage the reuse and recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) waste materials within the county. The program will take effect on Oct. 26.

Earlier this year, the Board of County Commissioners signed into law Ordinance No. 015-2020, which creates a framework for the county’s new C&D debris recovery program. Through a collaboration between the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center (PCSWC) and the Pitkin County Community Development Department, C&D waste management requirements are now tied to the county’s building and demolition permit process. In addition, the PCSWC implemented a new pricing structure in March for disposal of C&D materials to incentivize recycling.

“Keeping bulky and energy-intensive building materials out of our landfill is crucial to extending landfill life, improving resource conservation and creating a supply of low-cost recycled products in our community” Michael Port, C&D diversion specialist for Pitkin County, says.

To obtain a Pitkin County building or demolition permit under the new regulations, the project owner will now pay a deposit based on the total estimated waste that will be produced by the project. The deposit is fully refunded if a project owner diverts at least 25 percent of their construction debris from the landfill and avoids trashing recyclable materials like concrete, scrap metal and others. In addition, Pitkin County has partnered with Green Halo Systems, a San Jose, California-based software company, to make their construction waste tracking platform available for free to contractors.

“With this innovative program, Pitkin County will be able to improve its C&D recycling rate by providing the industry with resources and support, and ultimately, by expanding our services at the solid waste center,” Port says.   

PCSWC staff conducted outreach activities throughout 2020 to educate citizens and area businesses about the program, including through job site visits, webinars and a marketing campaign on local radio and digital news outlets.