It’s that time of year when locals switch from their winter identity to their summer identity. A time when garages and attics are cleaned out, and clothes, attitudes and gear change.
Today and tomorrow, in the Carhenge parking lot (700 West Pacific Ave.), EcoAction Partners, the Telluride Mountain Club (TMtC), San Miguel County and the City of Telluride are hosting a collaborative “Spring Cleaning” event. Landfills for the recycling of electronic waste, household waste and household hazardous waste will be set up in Carhenge today (Friday) and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Outside of trash, this weekend is the first year that TMtC will host a donation station for used outdoor gear still in good condition.
“We’re happy to take anything that’s in good working order and still has life,” said TMtC Director Heidi Lauterbach.
Additional trash locations have been scheduled for Mountain Village today at the gondola parking garage deck from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for Norwood tomorrow at the San Miguel County Fairgrounds.
City administrative analyst Cathy Knight said the event began years ago as a way for residents to get rid of hard-to-dispose items. The closest landfills and dumps to Telluride are at Montrose and Naturita.
“They’re not practical or accessible for a lot of people, especially if you have furniture and larger items you want to get rid of like tires, or something that’s hard to get rid of like junk and stuff. of this nature,” Knight mentioned.
The city charges a small fee for items like refrigerators and freezers that contain freon and a compound used for heat transfer to keep the appliances going. When exposed, the liquid is harmful to the environment and dangerous for people to handle.
Knight explained that the fee covers the cost charged by the device’s location to Montrose when it removes the toxic liquid.
Safe electronics recycling is also a huge part of the weekend’s event, organized by EcoAction Partners. Tyler Simmons, EcoAction’s zero waste coordinator, said the electronics portion was added to the event five years ago due to an increase in demand.
“Electronics recyclers make the majority of their profits by refurbishing items. They can sell refurbished items for more money than if they split those items and sell scrap components. Other items that we accept during spring cleaning that can be recycled/reused include scrap metal, usable household items like bikes and furniture, etc,” Simmons said.
Simmons explained that e-waste and other hazardous waste can release dangerous and harmful pollutants when thrown into a landfill. Electronics also contain rare metals and earth elements, reducing the demand for mining these materials. Fees associated with specific items cover the costs of unwanted material.
“Recycling unwanted electronics helps support small businesses, boosts local and national economies, and creates greater demand for their services in the future,” Simmons added.
Then, instead of overloading the city’s precious Free Box on Pine Street, bring your used equipment to the TMtC station in Carhenge.
Becky Boehm, official Free Box team manager, said while skis are welcome in the Freebox in small quantities, the best place to drop them off this weekend is in Carhenge.
“Skis are difficult because they don’t fit in the free box. My goal is to keep things off the curb – once items are left outside the box other people start leaving items outside,” Boehm said.
She stressed that the Free Box should not be a drop-off location for unwearable, torn and stained clothes or broken items that belong in a dumpster or recycling bin.
Outdoor gear can be expensive, and in a mountain town where the outdoors is a big part of the community, making activities accessible to all members is part of TMtC’s mission. The club will carry all outdoor gear for all seasons, such as bikes, skis, helmets, hiking backpacks and shoes. Lauterbach pointed out that the station accepts equipment for children and adults.
Items donated in Carhenge this weekend will be redistributed throughout the community on June 5 at Town Park. Any remaining items will be distributed on June 6, possibly in Carhenge, but Lauterbach said an established plan was still in the works.
For updates, follow Telluride Mountain Club on Instagram or visit telluridemountainclub.org. Then visit ecoactionpartners.org for a complete list of times and locations for spring cleaning events throughout the region, as well as a list of electronics collection and associated costs for the electronic waste station.