GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. While Earth Day is a reminder of the importance of preserving the environment, but people can do their part all year by recycling.
"We don't want to cause problems for future generations," said Rick Coleman, who stopped by the Grand Junction material recovery facility Tuesday. "That's the reason for recycling I think. We pass on less garbage to the next generation."
Grand Junction has the biggest recycling facility between Denver and Salt Lake City.
"It's very labor intensive," said Ken Stevens, of Waste Management. "We run one full-time shift and we do about 1,000 tons a month in this facility."
That's about 25 tons of material a day being sorted, compressed and stacked to be shipped off and made back into consumer products.
"Our material does stay here in the United States and it's shipped all over the country," Stevens said. "Plastics are made into park benches. Aluminum cans back into new aluminum cans. Newspaper and cardboard obviously into new paper goods."
Stevens asks people to remember to leave out materials that can't be recycled like Styrofoam, packing peanuts and everyday household trash.
It also makes the recycling process smoother when bottles, cans or anything that held food is cleaned out before going into the recycling bin.