New boss at the county landfill

By Pat Bingham
January 28, 2013

Pitkin County’s new solid waste manager is a 20-year veteran of landfill operations with extensive experience in landfill gas diversion programs.

Cathleen Hall, who currently manages projects at 29 landfill sites in the mid-Atlantic region, will take the helm at the Landfill on March 4. A nationwide search for the position was conducted after a leadership change at the landfill last fall.

“We were looking for someone with the experience and vision to operate our facility with an eye on innovation. Cathleen will help us develop new waste diversion programs and creative funding mechanisms that will help us improve our operation,” said Public Works Director Brian Pettet.

The new solid waste manager will inherit a landfill operation that is already a leader in the state for its recycling and waste diversion programs. Approximately 70 percent of the waste that finds its way to the landfill is recycled, converted or diverted, according to Pettet. The well-trained team of recycling workers that will greet Hall at the landfill converts rocks and boulders from construction sites into road base, gravel and other gravel products that are made available for sale. The team also converts yard waste, wood, and treated sludge into landscape material including top soil, wood chips, compost, shred mulch and potting soil.

Among the challenges facing Hall will be maintaining the landfill’s competitiveness should a new waste transfer station be opened in Carbondale.

“We’ll rely on Cathleen’s strong business background to help us continue the success of our current funding mechanisms for the landfill and help us come up with creative new opportunities to allow us to operate one of the most self-sufficient and successful departments in Pitkin County Government,” Pettet said.

“My entire career has been focused on one day operating a landfill like the one in Pitkin County,” Hall said. “I have a lot of experience making landfills user-friendly and growing recycling programs. I’m also looking forward to exploring the possibility of starting a landfill gas to energy program in Pitkin County in the future.”

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