Peak Perspectives: The Joy Of Recycling In Pueblo

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Peak Perspectives is sponsored by Pueblo Recycleworks. And it just so happens that Matt Cavanaugh found the company worth his musings...

Say you’re in Pueblo and you need to get rid of something like a mattress or a tire or a beer bottle—Joy Morauski knows where you can stick it. She put the “joy” in recycling in Pueblo.

You know that overused graduation expression? “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has,” by Margaret Mead.

That’s Joy.

She’s lived in Pueblo for decades, spent the last 20 years working for the city. She noticed how much illegal dumping was wrecking her city’s natural beauty, and so, spurred on by her graduate school project at UCCS, Joy wrote a grant to build a recycling center in Pueblo.

It worked, and about three years ago, Pueblo Recycleworks was born. Even as the pandemic forced it to close for nearly a month, Pueblo Recycleworks grew by over 10 percent last year.

That’s five tons of cardboard compacted every two weeks for re-use, bins full of plastics and papers, and a place where Puebloans can turn in old tires and mattresses for next to nothing.

Joy’s quick to point out that she had a lot of help in seeing this project through, from City Council to other departments. It took a team.

Still, she represents the best of what government can be—creative initiative that makes lives better.

Outside of work, Joy’s an artist. A potter.

That makes Pueblo Recyleworks Joy’s largest act of creation yet, and it’s making Pueblo more beautiful every single day.

Be good, be well, and remember to find joy in recycling whenever you can. Until next week, no matter what, climb on.

Peak Perspectives is a weekly segment written and voiced by Matt Cavanaugh, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a resident of Manitou Springs, where he lives with his wife and two young children. Through his writing, Cavanaugh explores life in the Pikes Peak region, including the gradients and subtleties of our lives in the shadow of America's Mountain. 

You can find more work by Cavanaugh here.

KRCC's Abigail Beckman manages the "Peak Perspectives" series. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of KRCC or Colorado Public Radio.