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Latest information and Recycling updates

Conserving Resources...Starting in 2013, we will no longer publish newsletters. Instead we will put our efforts into posting information and educational links online. Toward the end of the year we will post a summary report. If you would like the paper edition of this report, please call the office.

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2014 Annual Report

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


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.

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Economic Benefits

Colorado's recycling and re-manufacturing industry

In Colorado, the recycling and re-manufacturing industries compare closely with natural resource development and mining in terms of economic benefits. Recycling and reuse outpace the waste and disposal industry in job growth and remain the largest job creators in the Energy Efficiency (EE) sector within the State. The EE sector employs over 81,000 Colorado residents and generates over 9 billion in annual revenue. Read more in these articles:


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Innovations in Recycled Packaging

Why are major beverage companies refusing to use a 90% recycled can?

November 7th, 2014

Producing aluminum beverage cans out of recycled scrap, instead of by mining bauxite, saves natural resources, energy, carbon emissions, and lots and lots of money. The global rate for aluminum recycling remains at a steady 70% while in America rates hover at a mere 55%. The low US rate represents enormous amounts of wasted materials and energy. This waste also creates a great opportunity, one that an Atlanta,Georgia based company is hoping to seize. This year Novelis introduced the “evercan” a beverage container made from 90% recycled materials; with hopes of boosting low recycling rates in the US. This goal could easily be achieved with the influence and commitment of a major beverage company. However, none of America’s largest beverage companies have jumped on board with the product. Why are these companies refusing to use a 90% recycled can? Read the article below to learn more.


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Colorado Recycling

Act now and make a commitment to increase our recycling rate in Colorado

November 6th, 2014

Did you know that Colorado has one of the lowest recycling rates in the Country? The Colorado Association for Recycling has produced an eye opening YouTube video stressing the need for a new commitment to recycling on the part of the citizens and government of the State. Take a look on their website, and share the video, Colorado - we can do better - at school and at work.


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Recycling Container Update

Local suggestions for recycling containers

Recycling Container Update:  October 21, 2014

Please remember that it is not necessary to use official recycling containers for curbside pick up.  Almost all stores carry some type of toter, bin or other container that would work just fine for recycling.  The difference is that official recycling containers are often treated with some type of UV protection to better withstand the elements.  The bins we have available are open and stackable, UV protected and come with a 10 year warranty.  At $12.00 each, including tax and delivery, we found nothing cheaper around town and they are a good deal if you are looking for that size and shape.

We recently did a quick search around town to see what was up with “recycling” containers on store shelves.  The following is a list of the containers we found on display as of the end of September.  Of course, all stores vary their stock frequently so availability, prices and delivery charges will vary.  Most offer free shipment to the store if you order on-line. 

This is not a definitive list but may give you some idea of where to look:

Home Depot:  Good selection both on their shelves and available on line, with some for under $20.00.

 Lowe’s:  Only one option in store, a 32 gallon toter for around $14.00.  Four choices on line, all for over $75.00!

Walmart:  None in store. Good selection on line, several under $20.00. Free delivery over $50.00. They have a 3-tiered bin kit for $49.45.

True Value:  Limited on-line selection but does offer open, stackable bins for under $20.00 each.

Target:  None in store. Mostly in-home options (not very suitable for outside use.)  They have a set of three stackable, lidded bins for $49.99.

Sears:  None in store. Limited varieties on-line with most over $100.00

K-Mart: None in store.  Limited varieties on-line with prices starting at $9.99

Murdoch’s:  Does not carry them.

Sutherlands: Does not carry them.

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Land Based Marine Debris Reduction Act of 2014

News release by Resource Recycling

According to an August 13th news release by Resource Recycling a new bill, the Land Based Marine Debris Reduction Act of 2014,  has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Honda, a California Democrat.  The bill authorizes the EPA to “require the manufacturer of the product or packaging to use recovered materials of that or another category in the product or packaging.” This ambitious legislation would be a step toward achieving a 50 percent national recycling rate by 2020 and a 65 percent recycling rate by 2030.  Reportedly the bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) and will likely head to the subcommittee on the Environment and Energy, led by Republican John Shimkus.

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Recycling Contamination Concerns

Contamination in the Marketplace

August 2014

According to this month’s issue of Resource Recycling, the level of contamination in materials collected for recycling continues to be a challenge for U.S. reclaimers, those buying and processing that material for end use.  In his article,  Mike Verespej reveals that,  “In recent years, the percentage of usable material in bales purchased by plastics reclaimers  has been dropping, often to shocking levels.” By the time the material has been through the initial collection and sorting process and is again sorted, washed and processed at the mills, as much as 40% may have ended up in a landfill along the way.  In addition, the cost of decontamination can make it financially impractical to make the effort.

 The problem?  China’s Operation Green Fence crackdown on contaminated, mixed bales entering its ports has caused those who market the materials to scramble for domestic buyers. Few of those buyers can deal with the amount of contamination generated by the growing number of single stream collection programs across the country. 

 The industry may need to come up with some method to reward suppliers that provide better bales, and a multi-tiered pricing system, based on bale quality, may be the answer. In the meantime the need for more public education on what is, and what is not, recyclable is increasingly evident.

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Plastics in the Ocean

Plastic debris continues to threaten the worlds oceans, marine life, birds and wildlife.


In the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean there exists the North Pacific Gyre. A slow moving, spiral of currents full of trash, millions of pounds the majority of it being plastic. Essentially it is the world's largest landfill adrift in the middle of the ocean. There are five such gyre spanning the world's oceans collecting refuse from every continent.

Plasticized is an intimate account of a first hand journey aboard the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres Institute on the very first scientific expedition, focused on plastic waste, through the center of the South Atlantic Ocean.

This is an eye opening blog from the crew of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch voyage of 2014. Some left speechless and others left disgusted as humans continue to destroy this wonderful habitat. Take a moment to read their entries -

Would you like a side of seafood with that plastic? Research is finding that marine life is not only eating plastic, as they mistake it for food, but also absorbing it through their respiratory systems. Read more in this article by Science News -





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Curbside Recycling containers

As of June 2014 - we are no longer able to provide the high quality recycling bags to our curbside recycling customers.

Announcement to our valued curbside recycling participants:

 We have always provided our customers with low cost, high quality, locally made recycling bags for use in setting out material at the curb.  Unfortunately the local distributor has sold their business to a national firm that no longer offers bags of acceptable quality at an affordable price.  As a result, we are no longer able to obtain recycling bags.  We are very upset by this turn of events and deeply regret the inconvenience to you, both new and longtime customers.  We will be researching some options for local and online outlets from which recyclers can purchase their own containers and will post that information on our webpage as soon as it is available. 

 Please remember that we currently do offer high quality, stackable recycling bins for purchase.  However, you do not need to use specifically designed recycling containers to have your material picked up.  In most cases paper sacks, laundry baskets and boxes work well.  Please make sure that your containers: 1) are not falling apart; 2) weigh no more than 40 lbs. (with recyclables in them); and 3) do not collect rainwater, leaves, garbage, etc.

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The Recycling journey

Discover the new life of your recycling material

Keep America Beautiful has created this fun, fact filled website that answers many questions and gives great insight on what becomes of your recycling material once you set it out at the curb or drop it off at our recycling facility.

Check it out!!!


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Waste and Recycling statistics

American Recycler News provides a report with statistics on the waste and recycling stream performed by the EPA.

Americans are increasingly proud to recycle!! In this article appearing November 2013, from the PRNewswire website, a recent survey indicates that 4 out of 5 Americans say they feel a sense of pride when they recycle. It also finds that recycling participation rates are on the increase. Still, more recycling options are needed for people on the go. Read more...



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Benefits of Recycling

Recycling and the benefits it can have on the economy

Here are just a few articles that contain some very useful facts for the benefits of recycling.

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Oversees markets for Plastics #3-7 dries up

Plastic recycling #3-7


China has initiated Operation Green Fence, inspecting loads of recyclables coming into their ports and rejecting those that contain waste.  This has dramatically impacted the U.S. plastics and paper markets.  Recycling companies in the U.S. which collect plastics #3-7 have suddenly found themselves scrambling for an end market, as few exist in the United States for these plastics.
GJ CRI only accepts plastics for which it has strong U.S. markets (currently #1,#2 and #5) and is not affected by this development.
Read more about this under "YOU ASKED" on our website.

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