What Is ‘Green’ Waste Handling?

Red Winged Blackbird

At Twin Enviro, environmental stewardship is important. We aim to be good neighbors to the communities and ecosystems of the regions we serve, and we do that by disposing of waste responsibly and innovatively, and participating in events and organizations that promote sustainability and environmental consciousness (see more about our partnerships and events at our News & Community page).
 
There are a lot of different processes that go on behind the scenes at a landfill facility, and we aim to balance them in ways that are efficient, ethical, and sustainable. First of all, we encourage reuse. Twin Enviro and its subsidiary, the Milner Mall are pioneers in the arena of material reuse. Everything that comes into our landfill sites is screened for content. This screening process serves multiple purposes, including identifying materials we do not have the capacity to contain or process (such as certain hazardous materials, etc.), and salvaging items that can be used again, the latter of which saves on transport time, processing costs, and fossil fuel resources. As we say at the Milner Mall – what could be greener than reusing things?
 

Deer

After we remove materials for reuse, we then begin separating and categorizing waste for recycling. Twin Enviro will salvage scrap metal, tires, and other materials at the landfill, and transport them in bulk to the nearest recycling facility for processing, which saves consumers individual transport/fuel costs, thus reducing the carbon footprint per unit of recycled materials. In the spirit of recycling, we have also developed a regional compost program that is fueled by organic waste that enters the landfill. Organic products like meat, bones, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and paper napkins are separated from landfill waste that Twin processes into its US EPA Class A Compost, which is considered safe for unrestricted use. You can read more about our compost program, and see if you’re eligible to participate, here.
 

Eagle

 
Finally, when waste has been screened for everything that can be reused, recycled, or composted, it is placed in one of our containment facilities. Containment is the last step for landfill waste that has no other potential purpose, and must be compacted, covered, and protected until it fully decomposes. Even at the containment stage, Twin Enviro handles waste responsibly. We have developed innovative containment engineering techniques for stormwater and leachate management, and even received state recognition for the shredded tire landfill liner at our Cañon City site. In short: our containment sites ensure that no waste and nothing harmful ever leaves the landfill. We are very careful to cover and compact waste daily, in order to protect wildlife, and keep facilities free from unsightly exposed trash and unpleasant odors (you may have actually noticed when visiting our landfills that they have virtually no odor). While you will see a lot of healthy wildlife around our containment facilities, you’ll never find animals foraging through trash or wading in contaminated water. And when a landfill is full, we close the site, leaving the landscape to fully recover and blend back in with its surroundings.
 

Ducks

Since we do rigorously screen waste that may wind up in long-term containment, we may find materials that require extra handling in their disposal. If individuals and industries are forthright about these materials, we can help make sure they are disposed of correctly. In addition to general landfill waste, we do have the capacity to accept materials containing, for example, asbestos or nonhazardous liquid waste. We encourage you to bring these types of materials to our site so that they can be handled responsibly, rather than taking them to a facility that may be less conscientious in the screening process. Disposing of special waste materials at Twin Enviro ensures that they will be properly contained at a facility with a good EPA record, and their harmful bi-products won’t wind up in our (or anyone else’s) air or water supply. Also, if we cannot accept a certain type of waste, we will provide information and resources on facilities that can (please, contact us for further details).
 

Crane

 
At Twin Enviro, we don’t have to recycle, compost, or reuse materials, but we know it’s the right thing to do. As these processes are honed and improved with time, we hope to continue expanding our services, and help shift our landfills’ focus from containment to reprocessing (read more about reprocessing through the Zero Waste initiative). This, like any paradigm shift, is a gradual process, but we’re making great strides in these areas. We want our regions’ waste to be handled ethically. You can help by spreading the word!
 

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