By Jenny Kedward
Recycling is good for the economy. Collection, manufacturing and education all pay off in creating jobs, saving energy and increasing revenue. That is precisely why this year’s Summit for Recycling has a focus of Recycling makes Dollars and Sense. The annual conference hosted by Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) is happening June 10-12 at the Pueblo Convention Center.
Pueblo was chosen for the 23rd annual conference to expand outreach efforts and network with the many organizations and private businesses in the recycling industry located in Southern Colorado. The conference brings together professionals, elected officials, municipal employees and recycling advocates from around Colorado to learn about new programs, share ideas and lay the framework for successful recycling and reuse opportunities.
The Recycle Rally is the exciting kick-off to the conference on Sunday, June 10 from 1-4pm. This event is free and open to the public. In addition to regular exhibitors, the Recycle Rally will include its first ever Recycled Art Market. Artists from around the state offer jewelry, home décor, beautiful artwork and other unique items created from repurposed materials.
Students will also get a chance to showcase their artwork with the Student Poster Contest Awards, which recognizes the K-12 winners of the sixth annual statewide poster contest. CJ May The Resourcerer will perform his Recycling is Magic! show which weaves magic and storytelling with messages of sustainability, recycling and environmental awareness.
Residents are encouraged to bring their household recyclables to the rally. Drop-off old athletic shoes, plastic containers, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and tin cans and cardboard at the Convention Center south parking lot.
Professionals and recycling advocates should find the conference agenda quite intriguing. The two-day lineup includes programs from Recycling 101, to The Role of Reuse and Hard-to-Recycle Items in Reaching Zero Waste, to The Bottom Line for Organics. The first full day of the summit showcases regional recycling efforts through tours. Attendees can choose from five different site visits such as a stopover at the state’s largest recycler, Evraz Steel Mill; taking a look at what Colorado Springs has to offer in recycling; and a Pueblo Recycling Loop highlighting local recycling businesses. The day ends with a fundraising gala at the El Pueblo History Museum. The dinner provide an opportunity to bid on silent auction items, honor recycling champions around the state and enjoy local entertainment favorite, The Haunted Windchimes.
The Host Committee spearheaded by the Pueblo City-County Health Department (PCCHD) welcomes everyone to participate. Susan Finzel-Aldred, PCCHD Environmental Coordinator and Host Committee Chair states, “We are delighted to host the CAFR Summit, and can’t wait to show off our recycling enthusiasm and warm hospitality.”
Registration is ongoing and includes Sunday’s Welcome Receptions, all of the programs Monday and Tuesday, the luncheons with national keynote speakers, exhibit hall, and the regional tours. “Let’s have Pueblo, Colorado Springs and all of Southern Colorado represented at this conference. Now is the time to fully illustrate all we have to offer the recycling industry,” emphasizes Finzel-Aldred.