In 2014, The SWCCOG completed a study of the waste stream in the region, and found there are significant amounts of recyclables and organic material being landfilled.
It is estimated that at least 107,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated each year by roughly 99,000 people in Southwest Colorado. That comes out to an average of over 2,100 lbs., which is one-third of the weight of a Ford F-150, of MSW generated per person. In Southwest Colorado only 14% of MSW is diverted from landfills—the state’s average is 22% and the national average is 34%.
At the same time of the study, a regional recycling taskforce was formed. This task force includes government employees, recycling professionals, waste haulers, and other stakeholders. To tackle this issue, the taskforce decided to begin a region-wide campaign. This campaign would focus on education and sharing the numerous and easy opportunities to recycle, and reduce our impact on our local landfills.