Going for Green in Lyons

By Kathleen Thurmes, Eco-Cycle
Plastics are quite possibly the most ubiquitous materials in our society. As such, plastics are at once a blessing and a curse, serving both critically important and totally trivial purposes, and ultimately plaguing us with mind-boggling amounts of waste that we are hard-pressed to get rid of.


The face of our landscape and lives of our neighbors were forever changed four years ago as a thousand year rain pounded down upon Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. Tangled debris remains, like scars on the riverbanks, reminding us of the unfathomable devastation of those September days. Yet it is also testament to the resolve for restoration with which that destruction has been met.


Just after 3 p.m., on Thursday, July 20, a lone man robbed the Bank of the West at 303 Main Street here in Lyons. The suspect made a verbal demand for money before going behind the teller's counter to seize the cash. After grabbing cash, the suspect fled the bank on foot. The robber was last seen fleeing northbound on

Going for Green in Lyons

By Kathleen Thurmes - Eco-Cycle Lyons Zero Waste Coordinator
When I was a kid, ding-dong-ditch was on par with prank calling as the most daring thing that young mischief-makers could get up to while their parents weren’t around.

In recent weeks local teenagers have been ringing doorbells around town, but they have no intention of “ditching” before the occupants come out. Dressed in Eco-Cycle t-shirts and armed with clipboards and tablets, these students from the Lyons Middle/Senior High are part of the Lyons Green Star Community Project internship program, and they’re eager to talk to community members about Zero Waste.


Former Lyons resident John Freeborn (LHS class of 1995) is the Senior Ranger at Ridgway State Park. John has worked full time forCPW since 2004. On June 18, of this year John was driving to work when a vehicle swerved into his lane causing a high speed, head-on collision. John suffered serious injuries and had to be life flighted to Grand Junction. John has had several major surgeries

By Martin Soosloff
Michael Jordan would be proud. The “three-peat” is complete. The Lyons Storm, boys' 13 & 14 year old baseball team, completed a three-peat championship run Monday, July 17. The boys capped off their run through the playoffs with an impressive 12 to 7 win over the Niwot Cougars.

The win followed a double-header sweep on Saturday, July 15, that propelled the number two seeded Storm into the championship game Monday. Saturday’s second game was a see-saw back-and-forth affair that found The Storm trailing by two runs (nine to eleven) heading into their final at bat, as the home team. After squeaking in a run, scored by Charlie Gau following his crisp single with one out, the top of the order was coming to bat. Sean Stevelinck

Going for Green in Lyons

By Kathleen Thurmes

As we established in our previous column, a Zero Waste System is cyclical, like in nature, and focuses on redesigning our resource use to both eliminate demand for new materials and captures discards to be made into new products. Today, we’ll give a bird’s-eye overview of the recycling process.

For most people, recycling is a mysterious process. We throw a piece of paper or an aluminum can into a bin, it is taken away, and it disappears from our lives, never to be seen again. But what happens to the material once it is collected by a hauler or dropped off at a collection site? Where does it go? And what happens after that? Presumably, it is eventually made into something else, but what is the process to get there?

A decade or so ago, the sorting of recyclable materials was done at home. People had a bin for each type of recyclable material and they would be responsible for making sure the paper got into the paper bin and the plastic got into the plastic bin. Now, our system is more user-friendly. “Single-stream recycling” refers to the system that we have in Boulder County where we have one bin for all of our recyclable materials and the materials are sorted at the Boulder County Recycling Facility.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens in the single-stream recycling process.

Step 1: Single-stream recyclables plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, and jars), paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, metal cans and lids) are put into a curbside recycling bin

Step 2: The contents of the recycling bin are brought to the Boulder County Recycling Center (either by a hauling company or by the producer of the recycling)

Step 3: The materials wait to be put onto the conveyor belt to be sorted

Step 4: Through a series of machines, conveyor belts, and real-live people, materials are sorted according to what they’re made of. Paper, glass, ferrous metals, and specific numbered plastics all have their own bales.

Step 5: The different types of materials are compressed and put into large bales that can be easily loaded onto a truck for transportation

Step 6: The bales of materials are sold to recycling markets, where they are broken down into raw, recycled resources through shredding, melting, and other processes

Step 7: The recycled, raw materials are then used in manufacturing new products.

The process of making new products with post-consumer recycled materials (that means from items used and recycled by consumers like you!) differs greatly depending on the recycled materials being used and the products being manufactured. But the collection and sorting process is the same for anything put through the single-stream recycling process. All recyclables are sorted, baled, sold, processed, and made anew, continuing a cyclical model of consumption, avoiding the use of virgin natural resources, saving energy, and preventing pollution.

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