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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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Annual 2013 Report

 Message from the Staff

 Recyclers are awesome people.  There’s no other way to say it!  We at GJ CRI appreciate every one of you who take the time to responsibly handle your household waste, keeping what can be given new purpose out of the landfill. 

 We also appreciate having jobs that are making a difference in the world.  This is hard work, but at the end of the day we feel good about what we have accomplished…helping people like you  and, in fact, an entire community, do the right thing.  As we have seen time and time again, not everyone who applies here gets hired on.  We have to keep our work ethic and commitment strong to be a part of the special team at GJ CRI.    Did you know that each of our crews of two pick up 7,000 pounds of material by hand every day?  We then sub-sort it, bale it and move it around our facility for storage before loading it on trucks headed to markets.  You help us get it all done:  The effort you expend in setting out clean and sorted material makes the process go smoothly.  Of course, the treats and notes and messages of thanks left for us or phoned in to the office also make us feel appreciated, and part of a much bigger picture! 

 So, the crew and staff at GJ CRI thank you, the dedicated recyclers of Grand Junction, for all you do and for making recycling the best job ever! 

Important Program Changes

 Due to the disappearance of domestic markets for such items, GJ CRI will no longer be accepting “Blister,” commonly used as clear plastic salad, vegetable and take-out containers. 

 As of November, 2013 GJ CRI no longer accepts electronic (e-waste) items for recycling.  You can obtain some suggestions for e-waste recyclers in this area from the Hard to Recycle Guide on our website ( or phone our office at (970) 242-1036.

New in 2013 (January – November)

  •  323 new residential households signing up for service
  • 33 households signing up for 2ndpick up each month
  • 7 new low income exemptions

 Services Provided in 2013 (January-November)

  •  3459 households received curbside recycling service
  • 111 commercial accounts were picked up daily, weekly or monthly.
  • 100+ visitors to manned, public drop off each day
  • 154 households receive twice per month service
  • Material from outlying communities accepted and processed:              

        For example, City of Palisade, Paonia, and Steamboat Springs

 Education:  It has been a very rewarding year for GJ CRI’s community outreach and education effort.  We have been busy updating our website and social media outlets by adding useful and educational content. There were many opportunities to give guided facility tours, presentations, and opportunities to work with local youth groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.  We were also able to provide recycling education, with tours and presentations, to citizens of the City of Grand Junction and neighboring communities. 

 We proudly sponsored the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and the 2013 Earth Day Celebration. In addition we were able to participate in, and assist with, recycling efforts at other local events such as the Gauntlet, the Art and Jazz Festival, and the Fourth of July Celebration.

 One of our dedicated recyclers and CMU student, Cicely Whiteside, has recently been filming a short documentary on our program which will be featured in PBS’s Western Bounty early next year. Our T.V commercial aired on KJCT throughout the summer, and we continue to search out new ways to reach the community. 

 Safety Training:  Here at GJ CRI we are dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our staff, as well as the safety of our customers and the general public.  On April 4th we were awarded Cost Containment Certification by the Colorado Board of Labor and Employment for meeting or exceeding all of the safety measures outlined in the State’s program requirements. 

 The Waste and Recycling industry is among one of the most dangerous in the United States.  To meet that challenge we have developed a very in-depth Safety Training and Qualification Program. Each of our materials handlers, route drivers and equipment operators have gone through extensive training to qualify for their current position. All are required to participate in continuing education and refresher training.    In addition, all of our employees are thoroughly screened prior to employment and are subject to regular drug and alcohol testing to make certain they are safe at our facility and on the road.   

This year, as of November 6th, only 183 companies in the State of Colorado had been granted (CCC) certification and we are very proud to be among them.

 Program Notes:  The twice per month pick up allows you to recycle more often and not have the over abundance of material take over the garage. We provide this service at an additional annual charge of $25.00.  It works out to an affordable $3.83 per month for twice per month pick up.

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 be qualified.

 Did you know that we also have the ability to provide customer assistance in the event that you are not able to get your material to the curb? We believe in keeping our customers safe and if you have a limitation or circumstance that would prohibit you from safely getting your material to the curb – call the office and we will make arrangements to keep you recycling safely.

 From the Office:  Our office staff now has the pleasure of a new “assistant.”  Her name is Nona and she is black and white and four-legged. Her strengths are blocking the monitor while we attempt to find your name on the screen, storing office supplies in “safe” places, and paper shredding. She is continuously working on her writing skills and we believe will soon master the art of stealing pens and markers right out of our hands. She also recently attempted to make her first phone call!  If you have a place in your home and heart for such a talented gal, please give us a call or drop by to visit Nona at our office.

International market changes affect local programs: 

Two developments have had a profound impact on international markets.  The first was Operation Green Fence, China’s answer to the mass volume of non-recyclable waste shipped to their shores by the United States and European countries. This crackdown on low quality exports hit U.S. recyclers hard, particularly those collecting materials in single stream (unsorted) programs and those purportedly recycling “all” plastics.  Without the China outlet for the non-recyclable and contaminated loads, these programs went scrambling for domestic buyers.  Fortunately, GJ CRI has maintained a quality of product (with the exception of “blister,” discussed in the next paragraph,)  that continues to be sought after by domestic mills: We have experienced uninterrupted marketing of materials collected. You can read more about Operation Green Fence in the “You Asked” section of our web page.

The second development on the international scene will impact GJ CRI and our customers.  Over the past few years new plastic compounds have been introduced that are complicating the sorting process and the ability of consumers and recyclers to keep contamination out of materials.  In particular are the containers known in the trade as “blister,” those clear plastic box-type containers used for things like lettuce and various types of fruits.  While some of these had been marked as #3 or #6 plastics, they were predominately #1 Pete, all of which looked alike and were difficult to distinguish from each other.  This problem has been compounded with the introduction of  new types of plastic, also with an identical feel and appearance, such as those that are supposed to be “compostable,” or with unfamiliar labeling such as “#1 R”, “0” , “PLA” or “#7-Other.” None of these containers are compatible in the recycling process with #1 PETE and cannot be composted or recycled in most areas.  As a result of the gross contamination of the supply chain, the domestic market for “blister” has all but disappeared.  GJ CRI will stockpile the material that has been collected in the hopes that a new market for it will be found in the not-too-distant future.  In the meantime, we will no longer be accepting these containers on our routes or at the public drop off.

Markets and Mills

ONP (Old newsprint: Mixed paper products)

-                Greenfiber, Salt Lake City, Utah

-                Mountain Fiber, Hyrem, Utah

-                Hamilton Manufacturing, Twin Falls, Idaho

-                Applegate Insulation, Penrose, Colorado

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

 Electronics* (No longer accepted by GJ CRI)

 -             LifeSpan Technology Recycling, Denver, Colorado

Commodities Report:

 Material                                                                    End of year

Collected                                                          projection (in tons)

 Glass                                                                             385

Plastics                                                                          109

Steel                                                                                66

Aluminum (UBC)*                                                              17

Old corrugated cardboard                                                 660

All paper grades                                                              962

Electronics (e-waste)**                                                      16

Total Tons collected                                                      2,215

Total in Pounds                                                      4,430,000

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

** GJ CRI stopped collecting e-waste at the end of October.


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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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No longer accepting e-waste at GJ CRI facility


 Effective Monday, September 16th, 2013 — GJ CRI will no longer be accepting E-waste.

Please contact one of the R2 and ISO14001 certified electronic  recyclers below.

 Mesa County Hazardous Waste Facility         

Mesa County Landfill                  

(970) 257-9336     Call for details and fees.                                           

 E-Waste Recyclers of Colorado   

1027 South 7th St.  Call for hours and fees. (970) 986-4002


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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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