Crews at Alpine's Altogether Recycling go through their daily process of sorting through mountains of recyclable materials on July 20, 2018 in Denver. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The Colorado Sun hasn’t been around for very long — we began publishing on Sept. 10, 2018 — but already we’ve won several big regional journalism awards for our stories on everything from health and political reporting to the outdoors and trash.

Here’s a look at the work we did that has been honored:

Make more journalism like this possible with a Colorado Sun membership, starting at just $5 a month.

2019 Best of the West journalism awards

Contest includes entries from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

Growth and environment reporting
Third place for series on waste
Reporters: Jennifer Brown, Tamara Chuang and Kevin Simpson

“This brilliant series creatively highlights one of the most fundamental environmental challenges of all—waste,” the category’s judge wrote.

A trash truck dumps its load in the working phase of the Larimer County Landfill in July outside of Fort Collins. The landfill is among those in Colorado nearing capacity. It will run out of space in 2024. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

News writing
Second place for story on Arapahoe High School student’s suicide
Reporter: Jennifer Brown

“A narrow and deep exploration of teen suicide that features great insights and wonderful writing,” the category’s judge wrote. “It is an issue many media outlets have tackled, but few as well as this piece.”

2019 Society of Professional Journalists “Top of the Rockies” awards

Contest includes entries from Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah. Category: large-market outlets with a circulation of more than 75,000.

Politics general reporting
First place
Reporters/editors: John Frank, Jesse Paul, Brian Eason, Sandra Fish, Jennifer Brown, John Ingold, Eric Lubbers, Jason Blevins, Carrie Osgood

“A very strong category, but the 2018 election coverage by the Colorado Sun stood out because of how comprehensive, readable and pedestrian it was. These stories look at Colorado politics from angles other media outlets don’t think of,” the judge wrote.

From left: U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, and his campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, at a campaign office in Greenwood Village on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

News reporting single story
First place
Reporter: Jennifer Brown

“This is a captivating and heart-wrenching read about an extremely important topic. The writer handled the subject responsibly, contextualizing the scope of the crisis without delving into the unnecessary details so often reported with suicides. The intention of this piece was clearly to inform readers about the youth mental health crisis and offer them resources, not to capitalize on a tragic death for page views,” the judge wrote.

Best solutions journalism
First place
Reporter: Jason Blevins and Nancy Lofholm

“Thoroughly reported and extremely well-written,” the judge wrote.

Clarence Dobbs, 75, looks over his possessions on July 23, 2018, as he contemplates his next move. The camp where he was living was closed down by the City of Durango on Aug. 25. (Scott DW Smith, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Health general reporting
First place
Reporter: Jesse Paul

“The clear winner,” the judge wrote. “The topic is important, the stakes could not be higher and the ethical challenges troubling. The writing was elevated by detail, anecdote and thoughtful interviews. Original and solid reporting, well done.”

UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central cardiac surgeon Dr. Peter Walinsky talks Monday, August 13, 2018, about how the opioid epidemic has led to a rise in deadly heart infections. He and other heart specialists around the country have seen a rise in young IV drug users with bacterial infections in their heart valves. Open heart surgery is often required to replace or repair the damaged valves of those with the condition known as infective endocarditis. (Mark Reis, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Health enterprise reporting
First place
Reporter: John Ingold

News feature
First and third places
Reporters: John Ingold and Dean Krakel

A globe is displayed in the exhibit hall at the Flat Earth International Conference, held Nov. 15 and 16, 2018, at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center. More than 600 people were registered to attend. (John Leyba, Special to The Colorado Sun)

General website excellence
Second Place
The Colorado Sun

Science and tech general reporting
Second and third places
Reporters: Mark Jaffe and Jennifer Brown

General reporting, series or package
Second place
Reporters: Jennifer Brown, John Ingold, Kevin Simpson, Tamara Chuang

Marijuana general reporting
Second place
Reporter: Nancy Lofholm

Industrial hemp grows on a farm in Montrose County, where there are about 31 registered growers cultivating the cousin to marijuana in 50 fields.(William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Agricultural and environmental general reporting
Second place
Reporter: John Ingold

Become a Colorado Sun member, starting at just $5 a month.

Investigative/enterprise reporting
Third place
Reporters: Jennifer Brown and Jason Blevins

Business enterprise reporting
Third place
Reporter: Tamara Chuang

General legal reporting
Third place
Reporter: John Ingold

Media Community Health Champion

From the Colorado Community Health Network
Reporter: Jennifer Brown

We use this byline as a placeholder in breaking news situations when an editor has written a story. The byline will be updated when the story contains information gathered by a reporter.