Steel City to Green City: World of Recycling and Management Services (WORMS) Eco Village

Authors: Isaac Medrano

Isaac Medrano is the Colorado State Director of Democracia USA and a Green for All Academy Fellow.

The beacon of green light is shining bright from the city of Pueblo. Pueblo is located in Southern Colorado and is known as one of the largest steel producing cities in the United States. Now it will be known as one of the pioneers of the green "ecolution."

Green industries, Green gatherings, and Green activists are coming out of the woodwork creating a bastion of opportunity and collaboration that is the fire behind the green movement in Pueblo, Colorado. In order to make green jobs a reality while addressing the triple bottom line, a pipeline must be created.

Pueblo, CO is a city that does not have a recycling program. The Groups that have emerged to lead the pack are Gaia Institute, a Pueblo based non-profitand itsSustainable Economic Environmental Consortium or SEEC, which consists of members from the non-profit, for-profit, social entrepreneurs and government sectors.

Gaia Institute and its WORMS EcoVillage and Happy Worm Herders programs, currently under the direction of Carolyn Kelly, answered the call of duty to create the enterprise that brings recycling and a new green manufacturing industry to Pueblo, CO. Simultaneously, creating and building SEEC to eventually become the oversight body for the WORMS EcoVillageplanned Materials Reclamation Facility, or MRF, and re-manufacturing hub.

Thelong-rangevision pins Pueblo, CO as the recycling and remanufacturing hub for Southeastern Colorado and neighboring states and making Pueblo a zero waste city by 2020! Currently plans estimate that 450 Green jobs will becreated within the Eco Village, in the following industries:

    • Home heating wood/organic pellets
    • Rubber mulch and other rubber products
    • Alternative Daily Cover (ADC): cloth, paper, cardboard
    • Hydroseeding mix
    • Plastics: lumber, fencing, building materials, park benches, other plastic products
    • Other consumer goods made from recycled materials

    The Eco-lution is alive and well in the hub of Southern Colorado and as one for the founding members of the Sustainable Economic Environmental Consortium I look forward to making the “Dream Reborn” a reality in Pueblo, CO. The city that was founded at the confluence of the Arkansas River and the Fountain Creek now stands at the confluence of bridging the old gray economy to the new green collar economy.

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