HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman in Highlands Ranch is fighting for recycling availability in her condominium community.
She reached out to CBS4 after an unsuccessful battle with her Home Owner’s Association, which she said refuses to provide recycling services.
The HOA at the Sundance at Indigo Hills condominiums requires residents to pay for their own recycling.
The recycling company that services the area, however, will not service those homes unless the HOA pays to include the service for every resident.
Part of the problem, according to experts, is that every waste and recycling facility in the Denver metro area is located north of I-70, too far away from communities in the southern metro area.
The recyclable materials piled up outside garages in the Sundance condominiums are headed straight to a landfill.
“It makes me ill,” said Alex Falticeni, a Sundance condos resident. “It takes 15-50 years for that trash to actually disseminate into compost.”
The condos, near Broadway and Wildcat Reserve Parkway, provide a contract stating that every resident is individually responsible for his or her own recycling.
When Falticeni called Alpine, the company that collects recycling from houses just footsteps away from her condos, representatives told her their trucks would not service her condo.
“It’s this fighting warfare between Alpine recycling who says well, ‘we do recycling, we offer recycling in Highlands Ranch, but we won’t come in your community unless your whole community pays, offers it.’” Falticeni told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
So she turned to her HOA, but months later still had no resolution.
“Recycling needs to make sense. Otherwise, it won’t work,” explained Steve Caulk, a spokesman for Alpine Waste & Recycling.
Caulk said that sending out a truck for just a few residents would be cost prohibitive and environmentally irresponsible.
“If you want to try to send a big truck to a condo for one unit, think about the impact to the environment,” Caulk said.
Other Douglas County residents have pushed back on efforts to expand recycling in the south metro area. Last week, the town of Parker filed a lawsuit to try and prevent a waste and recycling transfer station from going up near Chambers Road just north of E-470.
Rather than tossing it out with the trash, Falticeni drives her recyclables to a facility two counties away.
An official with Hammersmith, the Sundance property management company, said a survey found that only a handful of residents there were willing to pay an increase to their HOA dues for recycling, so its board voted against the service.