AURORA, Colo. — Heightened talk about climate change has everyone a little more Earth-conscious these days.
And a Colorado business is cleaning up our landfills by breaking down and reusing items that are harmful to the environment.
You're in good company this week with The Happy Beetle.
Dave Kiefner and his wife Breanne are just like any other household, with lots of stuff piling up because they didn't know how to get rid of it.
"It doesn't go in the recycling bin, doesn't go in the trash bin," Dave said. "So, where does it go?"
He's talking about electronics, cans of paint, even plastic and styrofoam from packing materials.
"We get a ton of light bulbs, dead batteries, books, clothing," Dave said.
The Happy Beetle gives you an outlet to properly dispose of those items.
The name comes from a children's book.
"(The book) was talking about the important roles insects and beetles play in the ecosystem, in terms of breaking down materials so they could be reabsorbed," Dave said.
It's translated into a company that will come to your house and pick up awkward trash for you.
"Our hierarchy is reuse it in its original form," Breanne said. "If it can't be reused in its original form, we'll reimagine it in a new way to utilize it."
"I think everybody wants to do the right thing," Dave said. "But, I guess I'd say, it's very murky and difficult to understand."
The Happy Beetle makes it easy for you. The company works with other community businesses and nonprofits to repurpose, recycle, or dispose of our most difficult trash.
"Turning old, expired paint into new paint," Dave said. "Or, breaking down electronics and laptops and ensuring the data is protected and destroyed."
All you have to do is put it on your porch, and they'll do the sorting and heavy lifting for you.
"It's very fulfilling and it's also fun," Breanne said. "Everybody's cheering for one another. There's no such thing as competition in this game."
The service has grown exponentially in a few short months. But they say they've only scratched the surface regarding the collective impact it can have on the environment.
"Bottom line — if you're looking for a healthier planet and a more joyful life, it's 100% in this industry," Breanne said.
Colorado has a long way to go in its recycling effort. A report from Ball Corporation in April 2021 shows Colorado ranks 35th out of the 50 states in its overall recycling rate. At 16%, it's far from the state's goal of 28%, and even farther off the national average of 35%.
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