Expansion of the Pitkin County Landfill is expected to begin later this month and provide about six more years of life to the rapidly-filling facility. The nearly $2 million project will increase the size of the landfill by about 5 acres and the capacity by approximately 900,000 cubic yards, though the current construction boom in the upper Roaring Fork Valley could eat into that predicted six more years of space, said Cathy Hall, Pitkin County solid waste director. “With all the people moving here and tearing down houses, I have a feeling (the lifespan) will be less,” Hall said. “It’s gonna be a big year.”
Construction and demolition debris, which makes up the majority of the deposits in the landfill, is already up 3% over 2019, she said. Comparisons to 2020 do not apply because of the pandemic. “That is significant,” Hall said. Not yet included in the totals is the complete demolition of two local hotels— the Molly Gibson Lodge and the Hotel Aspen — which has been approved and is almost guaranteed to significantly increase the debris deposited in the landfill.
Debris from the Sky Hotel – torn down in the summer of 2017 to make way for the W Hotel – took up 3,030 cubic yards of space in the facility, which was the equivalent of 3,000 people’s yearly trash output. And that doesn’t count debris and contaminated mine tailings that will be thrown into the landfill from whatever happens at the base of Lift 1A, she said. “It’s gonna keep rolling in,” Hall said.