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How does a new airline mark its arrival? There is a new name on the terminal door and an official ribbon cutting as flights begin. Station Manager Peggy Cooke also ushered in Denver Air Connection’s service at the Alliance Municipal Airport with a pickup load of recycling.

Cooke gathered the cardboard from the airline’s opening in early June and brought it to the Keep Alliance Beautiful Recycling Center as a start to their ongoing recycling efforts. Blue bins throughout the Denver Air Connection office collect a range of materials. She said the airline has a lot of paper and also recycles cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and printer cartridges.

Usually, Cooke takes everything from work home to recycle with “the rest of my stuff.” The TSA at the airport also recycles and sometimes the airline combines in their bins. “As long as it doesn’t go into the landfill we’re happy,” she said.

Cooke served on the KAB Board of Directors when she first moved to Alliance. She volunteered at the recycling center when it was at the Harris Sales building, took part in the curbside recycling study and currently does recycling for the Bulldog Backpack program.

Sitting in an office at the airport, Cooke noted they have also reused and repurposed. She pointed to a wooden desk found for free beside the road that she repainted in the airline’s colors of purple and light green. “The company would have bought us anything we wanted,” she said, explaining that instead much of the furnishing was acquired for free or at garage sales and refinished. She said they saved the company money and all the furniture from going into the landfill.

“We want to be a good corporate citizen in our local communities,” Cooke said. The second point is they want to reduce their waste as much as possible to delay opening a new $1 million cell at the landfill, she added.

As far as recycling, Cooke said the airline is looking to Alliance to set the standard. “They’re looking at our program to implement it company-wide. You know we have Telluride (Colorado), they are very environmentally friendly with their area,”she said.

Looking ahead, Cooke said they have everything set up. It all fell into place and “it’s been fun,” she said. “We want to reduce our imprint on the world and our communities we serve.”

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