GOLDEN, Colo. -
A massive organic recycling facility in Jefferson County is being forced to shut down because of the land it sits on.
90 million pounds of organic waste are piled up in the 8-acre Rooney Road Yard Waste Facility, instead of the Jefferson County Landfill.
"And it's 100% recycled and then re-sold locally," said Alan Searcy of the Recycling Center Authority Board. "So we see the definite benefit in keeping material out of the landfill."
The operation at 151 South Rooney Road in Golden remained busy, even on its last day.
"Everybody's trying to get here and get dumped as quick as they can," said Brenda Hardey, owner of P&B Services.
"I don't know what I'm going to do to haul stuff away," said resident Mike Cudahy.
"I understand their position, I fully do. I believe that this is an environmental use, it's a needed facility. We also believe this isn't the right location," said Tom Hoby, the Director of Jefferson County Open Space and Parks.
Hoby said the recycling facility is not an allowed use for the open space land. The county initially leased it as a temporary solution for the facility four years ago.
"4 years starts to get out of the realm of temporary use in our view," he said. "And we really needed to get the land back to what it was purchased for initially."
Hoby said the property is destined to return to being a short grass prairie, like the land surrounding it.
Searcy said they don't know where to go next. Finding the right property for a new location is a difficult task.
"It's been a real challenge," Searcy said. "It is heartbreaking because we know what we're doing and what we're accomplishing."
The facility has until the end of the year to clear the current location of the debris they've already collected. After it is cleared, they'll need to grade and seed it.