It seems like it could go on forever, but the fact is, the Mesa County Landfill is almost full.

Recently, I had Barrett Jensen in the studio to talk about the growing problem at the landfill. Barrett is the Solid Waste Director at the Landfill. He shares some very interesting facts.

At the current rate, the landfill is expected to be at maximum capacity in 24 years.  That seems like a relatively long period of time, but Jensen says it's really not because the process of opening a new landfill area could take 10-15 years from start to finish. That process has not yet started, but the conversation has.

Think about this. In Mesa County, we are generating 6.6 pounds of trash per person daily. The national average is 4.5., and that is a pretty wide discrepancy. Jensen says it basically comes down to what we are recycling and reusing.

The fact is, we all could recycle a lot more than we do whether it is plastics, cardboard, glass, aluminum, or iron. Jensen says it is possible to extend the life of the landfill if the community as a whole became more committed to recycling.

Jensen told me there are two basic reasons why Mesa County residents should be concerned about this. One is the growth potential of an environmental hazard as the years go by.There is also the financial impact, not only of opening a new landfill facility, but also the 30 -year mandated monitoring of the old facility.

More and more people are hopping on the recycling bandwagon, but we have a long way to go. My guess is that way fewer than half of us are recycling on a regular basis, and my belief is that for many people it's a simple case of not really being educated about what can be recycled and exactly how to do it.

Perhaps with a concentrated effort, we can get more people to buy into the whole process of recycling, and to put more thought into some of the things they buy that are contributing to the trash problem. The landfill is filling up.