Bins at the city’s Timberline Recycling Center were overwhelmed by post-holiday recyclers, forcing the city to repeatedly close the popular center during the busiest week of the year.
The center at 1903 S. Timberline Road was closed from 5 p.m. Dec. 26 until noon Dec. 28 and again from 11 a.m. Saturday until noon Monday, according to Caroline Mitchell, the city’s Waste Reduction and Recycling manager.
She said the Timberline Recycling Center’s capacity normally is sufficient to last Friday to Monday. Over the last two weekends, however, bins were emptied Saturday and still filled to capacity prior to Monday.
The bins were completely full at a time when the Larimer County Recycling Center was closed Sunday, so the city had to wait to reopen the Timberline site until it could empty the bins Monday morning when the Larimer County Recycling Center reopened. Once that happened and there was enough space to receive new material at the Timberline Recycling Center, the site reopened.
“In anticipation of the greater generation of recyclables at the holidays, we had planned for the bins at the Timberline Recycling Center to be emptied as frequently as possible the last two weeks, and the increased usage was still greater than the capacity we have available at the site,” Mitchell stated in an email response to the Coloradoan Monday.
The everyday recyclables side of the center has reopened. The Hard to Recylce Yard is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, except for major holidays.
Mitchell said the city’s recycling website homepage and center’s website were changed to reflect the closures and that notices were posted via Facebook and Twitter.
The closure notice, stating the site would open by noon on Monday, was posted on the city’s Recycling web page and the Timberline Recycling Center web page until 12:30 p.m. Monday but not on the city’s main web page. By 10:30 a.m. Monday, about 10 vehicles were observed pulling into the entrance of the center blocked by a closed gate in less than 5 minutes.
Also this year, the city eliminated its Christmas tree drop-off program at Rolland Moore and Fossil Creek community parks due to COVID-related budget impacts, Mitchell said.
There is a sign in the Rolland Moore parking lot where people traditionally drop off their trees directing people to dispose of their trees at the Timberline site as well as Hageman Earth Cycle or the Larimer County Landfill. It warned people that surveillance cameras were in place and fines would be assessed for those leaving trees in the lot.
There is a $1 fee to dispose of Christmas trees, plus a $5 entry fee to access the Hard-to-Recycle yard at the west end of the Timberline site. There is a $1 fee to dispose of Christmas trees at Hageman, 3501 E. Prospect Road, and Larimer County Landfill, 5887 S. Taft Hill Road.
Mitchell said the city annually recycles between 7,000 and 11,000 Christmas trees which are ground up and made available as free mulch for residents.
The mulch can be self-loaded at the Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave.
Other recycling centers are located at the Larimer County Recycling Center, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and Loveland Recycling Center, open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
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