Building materials added to recycling at Clean Valley

In celebration of Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, Christopher Wilkins of Boy Scout Troop 232 and volunteers have completed painting a mural on the Clean Valley Recycling Trailer located at 3rd and Adams in La Junta.

The mural will serve as Chris’s Eagle Scout project and will move him one step closer on his journey to making Eagle Scout. The purpose of this project is to show leadership skills not only within the troop, but also within the community. Chris has had to organize fellow Scouts, Scout leaders, and others within the local community to aid him in accomplishing his project.

Scouts participating in his project were Ethan Manyik, Melody Martinez, Dreyton Nichols, Zeke Rangel, Diego Salazar, Lance Wilson, and OJC student Kevin Chavez. Acting as advisors and assisting in the project were Jerry Gonzales, Jeremy Manyik, and Stephen Neilsen.

Chris joined Cub Scouts in 2007 and received his Arrow of Light in 2011. He then joined the Koshares and became a member of BSA Troop 232 of the Rocky Mountain Council.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouting. Several requirements must be met in order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. A Scout must earn 21 merit badges, hold a troop leadership position for six months, plan and complete a service project, participate in a Scoutmaster conference, and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review, all while living by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment supported this project by providing grant funds to pay for the expenses of the mural. [Clean Valley Recycling provided the "canvas" for the artwork; the now-beautiful trailer at 3rd St. & Adams. Ave. offers Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. accepted-recycling of cardboard, plastics, and shredded paper, and anytime accepted-recycling of glass, metals, and non-shredded paper; more information at

Clean Valley Recycling is a non-profit organization started by local people and run by local people. They are dedicated to promoting environmental awareness through recycling.

Much of what people typically throw away can be recycled - plastic beverage containers, detergent bottles, aluminum cans, tin cans, junk mail, magazines, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, books, and so much more!

Clean Valley is trying to make recycling as easy as possible by adding a curbside option for residents of Rocky Ford, Swink, and La Junta - so far, they have 197 participants. If you are interested, please give them a call at (719) 468-0254.

Clean Valley Recycling has also started a "Reclaimed Building Materials" program which is modeled after Habitat for Humanity's Restore store. They accept old windows, old doors, old cabinetry, and other used building materials which will then be available to purchase at minimal cost. Why throw these usable items in the landfill when someone else may be able to use them?

Recycling is a win/win activity that all of us can participate in. It helps the county by keeping it out of the landfill, it helps the cities by reducing their landfill fees, and it helps the earth by taking care of the resources that we take from the earth.

Celebrate Earth Day this year by resolving to recycle - give the Earth the gift of recycling!