SILVERTHORNE — A new recycling center officially opened in Silverthorne this week, offering expanded recycling services for residents and visitors on the north and east sides of the county.
The new facility — located off River Road near the Blue River ball fields and the Outlets at Silverthorne — officially opened Monday, offering bolstered recycling options for Dillon and Silverthorne residents, who until now were reliant on private roadside services or the often-overrun roll-offs at Dillon Town Hall.
Conversations around a new site date as far back as 2016, when Waste Management shut down its single-stream recycling drop-off site in Silverthorne, according to Kerstin Anderson, Dillon’s marketing and communications director. While Dillon has been offering recycling services for about 20 years, it’s been the sole collection site for half the county for the past three years.
And recently, the site has been found wanting.
“We knew that the recycling resources were undersized, but we made a commitment to keep that facility and product offering open on this north end of the county as best we could,” Anderson said. “About a year ago, we started seeing the small facility we had in place being overrun. We reached out to our county partners, and they helped us get additional resources in larger capacity roll-offs and more frequent haul-off times.
“Now that the Strong Futures initiative has allowed for funding and expanded facilities at the Silverthorne center, they’re going to have a much greater capacity. It was purpose built to absorb the traffic we see every day in our parking lot, that really wasn’t intended for this type of volume.”
The new site comes as a result of collaboration by a number of community partners, including Denver Water, which agreed to host the center on its property free of charge; and the High Country Conservation Center, which is spearheading public education efforts for the new location. The county is paying for the center using Summit County Strong Future funds, a voter-approved measure from 2018 that allocates $1.7 million a year for waste-diversion services.
Similar to other drop-off locations in Breckenridge and Frisco, the Silverthorne site will accept glass, aluminum, cardboard, mixed metal containers (cans), Nos. 1 and 2 plastics, paper, scrap metal, food scraps, and food and beverage cartons.
The recycling center will not accept household hazardous waste (pesticides, cleansers, paint, antifreeze, batteries) or electronics. Those items are accepted at the Summit County Resource Allocation Park, located on Landfill Road in Keystone, for free for Summit County residents and property owners.
“Having this infrastructure in place in the Silverthorne-Dillon area represents a major step forward toward our waste-diversion goals,” said Aaron Byrne, director of the county’s landfill. “We know how deeply this community cares about our environment, and this new site will make it more convenient for everyone to protect it.”
While the site already is open to community members, the county and its partners are hosting a grand opening ceremony at 4 p.m. March 18. The first 50 attendees to the event will receive a free resealable food-scrap collection bucket. After the ribbon cutting, representatives with the High Country Conservation Center will be hosting a recycling education event at The Bakers’ Brewery.
With the facility’s grand opening just around the corner, officials in Dillon are still working to decide the fate of the Town Hall recycling drop-off site. The town will be closing its drop-off center March 18, according to Anderson, but it remains to be seen whether it’s a temporary measure to help drive community members to the new Silverthorne facility or if the closure will be permanent.
“I don’t know that we have the answer to that yet,” said Anderson, noting that the town likely would wait to see how things unfold at the Silverthorne site, or if additional recycling options come to the landfill, before deciding whether to reopen the Dillon site. “I think we’ve been really happy to provide a solution for our community for the last three years while the county worked to secure funding and a new site for expanded facilities. … It’s going to be so much better with the expanded facilities that we want people to get used to going to that location.”