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A New Era of Recycling: Westminster Sustainability Center

A New Era of Recycling: Westminster Sustainability Center

It’s a Friday afternoon in April and curious residents gather outside the new Westminster Sustainability Center (6020 W. 91st Ave.) ahead of forecasted spring storms. A little rain could not dampen their eagerness to walk through the doors for the first time and see how the new facility would serve them.

“When I heard this center was opening, I thought ‘Yay! This is great news,’” said Jan Spratte, a Westminster resident who attended April’s grand opening celebration. “I was glad to see how the process for dropping off different recyclables works. I think everyone should come and see it.”

Another resident who attended the celebration, Theresa Lubben, shared a similar sentiment. “It will be great, we need to have more of this,” Lubben said.

The new facility is managed by SustainAbility Recycling, a company with a proven track record. They currently operate locations in Arvada and Broomfield and make it a point to offer work opportunities to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

During the grand opening celebration, employees showed off areas that will keep recyclables out of sight until they can be taken to their next stop in the journey of sustainability. For electronics, that means certified e-waste recyclers will take them and break them down in an ethical manner without compromising any personal data left on the device. Single-stream items will be compacted and kept inside the building at night, and Republic Services will process the contents a few times a week.

The new, one-stop-drop recycling hub located near Downtown Westminster is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed on Sunday. From now through August, the center will be open until 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays as part of extended summer hours. The facility replaces the four 24/7 recycling drop-off bins that were located at Fire Station 1 (3948 W. 73rd Ave.), Municipal Service Center (6575 W. 88th Ave.), Municipal Court (3030 Turnpike Dr.), and West View Recreation Center (10747 W. 108th Ave.). Those sites are now closed.

Current Westminster resident and former City of Westminster employee Mark Granger is excited about the new sustainability center. He thinks it is a great addition to the city, and he should know — he had first-hand experience in just how messy and unsafe the old drop-off sites could get: it was his job to clean them.

“People would drop off hazardous materials in the middle of the night,” Granger said. “There was broken glass scattered on the ground. The bins would overflow, and windy days would blow the trash around.”

But it wasn’t just the items being left in and around the bins that made them unsafe — Granger also points out how close the bins were to traffic. "At the MSC, you've got the traffic on West 88th zooming by, plus large vehicles always going in and out of the gates. It just got to be a little dangerous.”

The new Westminster Sustainability Center eliminates the unsafe drop-off conditions. Employees will be there to help collect recyclables from residents, making sure they get put in the correct bins. Then, when the facility closes for the day, employees will bring the bins and compactor inside, which will keep the area safe and clean. When it comes to traffic, residents won’t be dodging zipping cars when unloading their recyclables. To mitigate potential traffic impacts, residents are asked to enter the site from Harlan Street and either park in the designated spots for hard-to- recycle items or enter the line for single-stream recyclables.

In addition to accepting single-stream recycling and hard-to-recycle items, the Westminster Sustainability Center will also offer educational opportunities for the community. It will host field trips for local schools and will be available for other community tours to demonstrate the environmental benefits of recycling.

“I think that's a great way to get [kids] started and hopefully thinking twice about just dumping trash out on the streets or throwing your recycling into the trash and not taking care of it the way you should,” Granger said.

Single-stream recyclables are free to drop off, and hard-to-recycle goods will be accepted for a fee outlined in the table below. 

Click Here to Learn More About Westminster Sustainability Center

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