2014 Annual Report

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Year end summary and important program changes

Important Program Changes:

Discontinuance of locally made re-usable recycling bags

 For over 20 years GJ CRI has provided its curbside customers with locally made, 22 gallon, reusable polypropylene recycling bags. Unfortunately the local supplier sold to another company and the bag specifications changed. Due to these changes, the bags no longer meet our quality standards.  As a result we have had to discontinue this service.  We encourage customers to use their own reusable containers that suit their needs. (Please, no more than 40 pounds per container.) We take very special care of your containers as we empty them by hand and return them to a secure location. We have posted several suggestions for containers on our website  with a variety of local and on-line options. Old wood pellet bags or large potato “gunny sacks” work great also. This is a good opportunity to get creative and customize your own recycle containers.

Twice per month City billing option

Until now GJ CRI has had to bill customers separately for the second monthly curbside pick up.  Now the City is able to add the charge directly to your monthly billing statement. This option makes payment quite convenient and has resulted in far more people opting for twice per month service. If you would like twice per month service added to your monthly City utility bill at the low fee of $3.85 a month- call the office and let us know. We will be happy to assist you.

New in 2014

· 364 new residential households signing up for service

· 168 households signing up for a second monthly pick up

· 2 new low income exemptions

Services Provided in 2014

· 3640 households received curbside recycling service

· 100+ visitors to manned, public drop off each day

· 252 households received twice per month service

Labor Woes

GJ CRI is a small, local, close knit company. At full staff we employ 14 people, most of whom are the primary supporters of their families.  For nearly two years we have operated with less than full staff. Finding additional qualified crew members to fill the vacancies has been a trying and difficult process:  We’ve had a constant turnover of applicants who were either unable to meet the physical requirements or unwilling to abide by the strict drug-free work rules.  This has been discouraging and placed a heavy burden on the remaining staff.

Fortunately our training here at GJ CRI is very thorough and we take great pride in cross training everyone to produce a real “teamwork” environment.  This results in the unique ability of all staff members to fill open positions when needed. Yes, this means even the office staff could work outside and operate a forklift if required and, with the constant vacancies, we’ve all had plenty of opportunities to pitch in. However, with everyone pulling together to keep operations running smoothly our educational outreach coordinator has had less time available for tours, educational presentations and community events this past year.

The good news is that we are winding up 2014 with full staff. Our hope is that when the new crew members are fully trained we will once again increase our community education efforts. With that goal in mind we hope to soon once again offer presentations and tours.   Give the office a call and reserve a date today for your group. Facility tours will be available April through September.

Note from the Staff

Our customers really do make a difference. We sincerely appreciate all the thoughtful phone calls, compliments and wonderful tasty treats that you send our way. These simple little gestures never go unnoticed. Not only do “YOU” make a difference by recycling but you also make someone’s day. So from all of us here at GJ CRI, “Thank You for being the best customers ever!”

Double the fun! Did you know that for the low fee of $3.85 a month we can provide your residence with twice per month curbside service? Just imagine all the more room you would have in the garage with the recycling being picked up twice per month! Call the office for details.

 Low income exemptions are available to those who truly wish to recycle but who are experiencing financial limitations.  This exemption is seldom used, so please spread the word to those you feel may qualify.

Customer assistance is also available. If you have a limitation or circumstance that would prohibit you from safely getting your material to the curb, please call the office and we will make arrangements to keep you recycling safely.

Rowing against the Stream…Single Stream, that is…

 As new residents move here we are more and more frequently asked why we still have our customers sort their material. There is no way around it …single stream collection programs, with their abysmally high wastage rates, are on the rise in popularity in the U.S. Advocates of single stream focus on the high participation rates that result from “convenience” to the public and on cost savings through further automation of the pick up and sorting processes. But popularity aside, single stream has major drawbacks.

Some of the most obvious drawbacks are the astounding costs to the community for the initial set up of the processing facilities and their ongoing operational costs… costs that easily soar into the multi-millions. The high volume of waste generated by single stream can result in a significant increase in disposal, transportation and landfill tipping fee costs. These are all costs that are now avoided, and counted as a financial benefit to the recycling program. So the question becomes… “Is Grand Junction ready to expend that much revenue for recycling?”

Another drawback to single stream, and one not so visible to the public and decision makers, is that along with it the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude of the American public is also gaining ground.   Recycling can easily become the mindless activity of simply throwing everything together and letting someone else, often mills in distant cities, either deal with the poor quality and additional waste or completely reject the contaminated loads.  With the single stream approach the underlying issue of industrial and consumer waste is not being addressed and the whole idea of “Reduction,” one of the key components of the three “r’s” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,) is undermined.  In other words, if people think it’s all getting recycled by someone out there, and is no longer their responsibility, why not consume, consume, consume? We at GJ CRI still believe that the need is for public education, acceptance of personal responsibility and the reversal of the “throw away society” frame of mind.

 Markets and Mills

 ONP (Old newsprint: Mixed paper products)

–               Greenfiber, Salt Lake City, Utah

–               Mountain Fiber, Hyrem, Utah

–               Hamilton Manufacturing, Twin Falls, Idaho

OCC (Old Corrugated Cardboard)

–               Bio Pappel, Prewitt, New Mexico

–               International Paper, Denver, Colorado

–               Rayden Industries, Long Beach, California

 UBC (Aluminum cans)

–               Alcoa, Alcoa, Tennessee

 Plastics ( #1,#2, #5)

–               GMR, Phoenix, Arizona

–               Hytech Plastics, Colorado Springs, Colorado

–               Recycle Wise, Paris, California

 Paper (Specialty, high grade paper)

–               International Paper, Denver, Colorado

–               Huhtamaki, Sacramento, California

Steel (Cans)

–               Nova Steel, East Chicago, Indiana

–               Rocky Mountain Steel, Pueblo, Colorado

Glass (Jars and Bottles)

–              MillerCoors, Wheatridge, Colorado

Commodities Report

Material Collected                            End of Year projection (Tons) 

Glass                                                                 357

Plastic                                                               113

Steel                                                                    22

Aluminum (UBC)*                                                 17                                        

Old corrugated cardboard                                   596

All paper grades                                                 848

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Total Tons collected                                           1,953   

Total in Pounds                                            3,906,000  

*Aluminum is shipped mid-year. This total does not include material collected by year’s end but not shipped.