On Saturday morning, April 21, 196 residents participated in this year's Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce E-Waste recycling event. From cell phones with shattered screens to big-screen televisions, 196 residents packed 17,274 pounds of electronic waste and hauled it to the Delta County Fairgrounds for disposal Saturday morning, paying between 25-40 cents per pound to have it recycled.
"It was a very successful year," said chamber president Nathan Sponseller of the annual fundraiser. In fact, it was the most successful year since the event began five years ago and reflects an increase of about 3,400 pounds and 31 participants over last year's event. Overall, the amount collected and the number of people attending have increased by about 15 percent since the event began.
The E-Waste event honors Earth Day on April 22 and is held in cooperation with Double J Disposal of Austin and Recla Metals of Montrose. Money raised goes toward the chamber's special projects fund.
Volunteers included chamber officers Bill Long with TDS Telecom, Sue Whittlesey with High Wire Ranch and the Lions Club, Dave Whittlesey with Delta County Farm Bureau, and Lara Noel with Stone House Inn and Solar Energy International.
Hotchkiss High School coach/teacher Eric Hollembeak and HHS basketball team members Jacob Stucker and Elijah Patrick provided heavy lifting. In exchange, they will receive a donation from the chamber to help fund the team's annual summer basketball camp.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.