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Creede recyclers to receive awards

Posted: Friday, May 17th, 2013

CREEDE—The Keystone Resort and Conference Center will host the Colorado Association for Recycling’s (CAFR) annual recycling summit. Attending the conference will be local recycling professionals from Recycle-Creede. Bill Burch and Tina Miani will be accepting awards as Volunteer(s) of the Year.

Cary Bush, founder of Recycle-Creede, endorsed her employees; “Bill Burch and Tina Miani have worked as volunteers for Recycle-Creede for the last five years. For the past three years they’ve seemed like full-time employees, except that Recycle-Creede can’t pay them— yet.”

Miani said, “my husband and I are receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award as a couple, because of our efforts to keep Recycle-Creede from getting buried in increasing amounts of recyclables. We didn’t think about the award.” She continued, “the recyclables never stop coming. No matter how much work we put in, we turn around to see more that needs our attention.”

Miani and Burch are dedicated to recycling, because of the dire situation of water on Earth. “I’m attempting to save water. Everyone should be in agreement that water is the most precious molecule known to man and we cannot continue to exist without it. I’d like to see us save all the water we can through responsible Earth stewardship.”

Antonito resident and Adams State University student Benjamin Evans will receive a CAFR Scholarship allowing him to attend the annual summit.

The 24th annual summit, to be held May 19-21, will feature educational sessions, exhibit hall, site tours, recycling awards and a silent auction. The event is key for Colorado individuals dedicated to the principles of recycling, waste prevention and composting.

The silent auction usually contains some recycled art. Bush says, “not only do Bill and Tina volunteer at Recycle-Creede, they are also creative and make art out of recyclable products. They have each donated artwork, that has always been sold, to the Summit Silent Auction during the last three years.”


Recycle-Creede is staffed fully by volunteers like, Burch and Miani. Through Bush’s push for more active recycling in the area, Recycle-Creede is expanding. “We are very excited that we are instituting recycling in other communities, as well as the growing participation every year at the Creede facility. We have diverted many tons of recyclables from area landfills,” said Bush.

She says that Burch and Miani are a key to the growth Recycle-Creede has experienced, “Recycle-Creede’s diversion rate has gone up steadily since its inception, and it has expanded its service to the neighboring communities of Crestone, Del Norte and South Fork, as well as San Luis Valley music festivals, local farmers markets, Orient Land Trust and the 9News Health Fair in both Creede and Monte Vista, and last June, the Disney film production of “The Lone Ranger.”

Bush added that, “Burch worked the whole recycling project for the [Lone Ranger] movie production while it was in Creede.” Burch and Miani are heavily involved with the recycling operation, but they also, “do most of the outlying pickups from our spoke locations.”

Recycle- Creede is not only getting help from dedicated volunteers, but also through grants. Bush said, “(we) installed three-phase electricity, a baler this year, and purchased a forklift so that loads of recyclables are more efficient. This was done with State of Colorado Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) grant funds.”

Funding for recycling must be protected and secured. Bush said, “CAFR was instrumental in writing legislation (SB13-050) that increased the amount of RREO funds available for recycling in upcoming years. I was one of the speakers in front of the Senate Finance Committee”.

Bush proudly says, “in the last year, Recycle-Creede has processed over 110 tons of materials. Burch and Miani probably touched almost every ounce of it. In such a rural community, where less than the half the population recycles, it is amazing to see volunteers with this kind of dedication and involvement in the project. It is because of the dedication of these two people that Recycle-Creede is still working.”

This year’s CAFR Summit is focused on, “The Keys to Unlocking the Next 30 percent.” In 2012 CAFR adopted a goal for recycling in Colorado, which challenges recyclers to increase diversion from landfills from 36 to 66 percent by 2021. The CAFR Summit will be a great opportunity for the Colorado recycling community to stay on the cutting edge and to keep pushing the recycling trends.

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