Grand County’s Solid Waste Special Service District #1 is wishing goodbye and good luck to Evan Tyrrell, who is leaving his position as director this week.

Tyrrell joined the district in 2019, and he and staff have accomplished a lot since he took the leadership role. The three main facilities managed by the district—the Moab and Klondike landfills and the Community Recycle Center—have all been reorganized for cleanliness and efficiency, and the life of the Moab landfill has been substantially extended. The organization has also emphasized community outreach with events, projects and programs like yard waste collection to reduce fire-hazard fuels, a native plant garden at the recycle center, and Community Recycle Center sponsorships. 

“Leading the District over the past three years has been an amazing experience and it has been very rewarding to see the light years of progress the organization has accomplished throughout my tenure,” Tyrrell wrote in an email to colleagues announcing his departure. 

Tyrrell will take on an environmental management position at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, supervising a team that works on environmental protection, pollution prevention, and climate resilience. 

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Tyrrell said, expressing excitement about his new position and regret at leaving the Moab community. “I wish I could clone myself and do both jobs,” he joked. 

Of the district’s accomplishments during his time at its head, Tyrrell said he’s very proud of all the improvements to all its facilities and operations. He declines to take credit for those improvements, saying it was an organization-wide effort that made it happen. 

“The staff have been amazing,” he said. 

He’s also proud that the district completed the acquisition of Monument Waste, taking over waste collection services in the county. 

“That was a goal of the district for ten years,” Tyrrell said. “That transition has gone very well.” 

Tyrrell has offered to continue serving in an advisory role to the board, at least until a new director is established. “I want to leave things in good continuity,” he said. 

Looking ahead, Tyrrell hopes the Moab community will improve its waste diversion. It’s difficult to foster an effective recycling program at tourism-based businesses, he said—visitors don’t necessarily know how to recycle correctly in Moab.

“That’s going to take a huge, engaged effort,” he said.

He also hopes to see stronger collaboration among entities including county and city governments, community members, nonprofits and businesses. 

For the public, Tyrrell encourages people to take the time to recognize waste management professionals. 

“When solid waste management is effective and good, it’s often overlooked,” he said. “If you don’t notice it, then things are going well, which is primarily what’s been happening here.” Instead of overlooking that essential work, Tyrrell said, 

“I would encourage the general public, when they see people working at the facilities, to thank them for their service.”