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HomeAbout Estes Recycling and the CRC

About Estes Recycles and the CRC

“As citizens of the world we must protect our planet from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change while also providing pathways to economic prosperity.”  League of Women Voters

The Community Recycling Committee

The Community Recycling Committee (CRC) implements projects and programs to

·       improve the availability and quality of zero waste and recycling efforts in the Estes Valley

·       increase the sustainability practices and actions of people residing in, working in and visiting the Estes Valley

·       minimize the amount we contribute to the landfill and to generally encourage the wellness of the Earth.

Our name says “recycling,” but we have a bigger vision,
to help the Estes Valley move toward zero waste.

Education and Communication

Many people care about the earth and want to do the right thing. But what to do and how to do it can be confusing. To help with this, CRC has ongoing education projects that provide information that will help us all be better recyclers:

Reducing Waste and Encouraging Recycling

The heart of the matter is getting people to take action. CRC has projects that make recycling easier for Estes Valley residents and visitors.
  • Estes Recycles Day for hard-to-recycle materials
  • Glass recycling at the Residential Recycling Center
  • Estes Valley Planet Partners program (collaboration with community businesses that provide specialty recycling options)

Battery recycling


Collaboration with other organizations broadens our reach. We are fortunate to have strong partners: Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Library, town and county government, waste and recycling organizations, local businesses. Working together we can make a difference – faster!

The Community Recycling Committee meets monthly. Join us at one of our meetings to see how you might become involved, or contact us for more information.

The Early Days

Our volunteers from the Community Recycling Committee (CRC), adopted the national League of Women Voters policy positions regarding recycling and management of solid and hazardous wastes.  Their efforts produced many successes.

Accordion Widget
Our volunteers from the Community Recycling Committee (CRC), adopted the national League of Women Voters position to: 

  • support policies to reduce the generation of and to promote the reuse and recycling of solid and hazardous waste
  • support policies to ensure safe treatment, transportation, storage, and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes in order to protect public health, air, water and land resources
  • support planning and decision-making processes that recognize suitable solid and hazardous wastes as potential resources.
The group worked tirelessly to improve recycling in Estes Park.

Early successes included:

  • creating a Planet Partners program to support and recognize recycling efforts by local businesses
  • partnering with local schools and teachers to provide grant-funded reusable shopping bags for students to decorate with environmental themes and then take home
  • purchasing magnetized trash bin lids to support a student project to acquire metal utensils for the cafeteria to eliminate one-time-use plasticware
  • establishing Green Awards to recognize people or organizations for innovation and commitment to recycling and to share these best practices
  • securing grants and donations to place a solar-powered recycling compactor in Bond Park and purchase “Zero Hero” recycling tents to encourage recycling at town events
  • establishing education and outreach programs including booths at events such as the Farmers Market and Earth Day to share information on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • executing a State of Colorado grant in partnership with the Town of Estes Park and local wildlife advocacy groups to purchase and install 27 animal-resistant trash/recycling bins in downtown areas

The Foundation of Recycling in Estes Park: Jean Weaver

The Community Recycling Committee (CRC) of the Estes Park League of Women Voters was formed in 2007, but recycling efforts here began thirty-two years earlier, thanks to a remarkable woman. Jean Weaver's dream was to see a recycling program in Estes Park, and largely through her single-minded efforts, Estes Park has had the second longest continuously operating recycling program in Colorado, the first being Eco-Cycle in Boulder. 
Accordion Widget
Timeline: 1975 - 2017
Timeline: 1975 - 2017
Jean began helping her friend Claudia Irvin, the school choir director, raise money for school musicals through newspaper drives. The next year Jean initiated an association with Eco-Cycle to haul all the newspaper as well as to start collecting tin, steel and glass. As tonnage increased, she acquired a 40 ft. trailer which was first stationed at the high school. The local Watson Freight Co. hauled the big trailer of recyclables to Denver for several years.

Rocky Mountain National Park asked Jean to help them start a recycling collection program at their campgrounds for glass, aluminum and metal. In one year, 39 collection barrels increased to 93. Jean and a young helper emptied these barrels several times a week.

Jean educated and encouraged local residents to recycle through her occasional articles and letters to the editor of the Trail Gazette. She reminded them that recycling saves trees, conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces air pollution and the amount of solid waste sent to the landfill, creates jobs, and makes the town cleaner.

Over the years many community organizations and individuals helped out with collecting and sorting. During the 1980s, the trailer was moved to the Pixie Gas Station on Moraine Ave, and then to Steve Gillette’s A-1 Trash location. The trailer operation grew into a Recycling Center and moved to the County Transfer Station in 1989. Very supportive of Jean and her recycling work, Mr. Gillette’s trash service later added curbside pickup of recyclables.

As volunteer coordinator of the Estes Park Recycling Center, Jean received the 1986 award for the state’s top community program for recyclables (run by a single person!)

Businesses on the south side of the 100 block of West Elkhorn got involved.

When Larimer County opened a new sorting facility in Fort Collins in 1993, local recycling expanded to include plastic bottles (#1 & #2). Eco-Cycle in Boulder began to accept junk mail.

“The Better Earth Committee for Estes Park”, organized in 1994, won a state grant to add a roll-off for office paper at the Transfer Station. They also produced a “Recycling Guide – Do’s and Don’t’s” and organized an Eco-Contest for the community. Two years later, a second roll-off was needed.

By 1996 the combined efforts of the Estes Park Recycling Center, the YMCA Camp, Eagle Rock School and High Country Recycling (a private hauler) brought the local diversion rate (percentage of waste stream recycled) up to 5.55 percent from 1.5 percent in 1991.

Jean helped found the Community Recycling Committee of the local League of Women Voters.

At age 80, Jean received the Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Award. She continued to inspire the CRC until her death in 2017.

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