$6M for more recycling | VailDaily.com

$6M for more recycling

EAGLE COUNTY ” The county will be able to recycle many more tons of material that would otherwise end up as trash in the landfill with the completion of a new recycling facility next year.

Commissioners approved an agreement on Tuesday hiring Shaw Constructors to design and build the 14,000-square-foot building at the Wolcott landfill. The contract includes the specialized equipment that will go in the building also, county Construction Manager Rick Ullom said.

The entire project will cost about $5.8 million. Construction is planned to begin this fall, and the facility would be open and operating by the end of next summer.

Right now the county must haul all its recycled materials to other facilities to be sorted, which is a costly process. The more thoroughly sorted the materials are, the more money it is worth, County Solid Waste Manager Ron Rasnic said.

Once the facility is running, the county also could charge surrounding counties for taking their recyclables.

“There is an interest with Garfield County in doing a recycling program, so it’s highly likely we’ll see some of that material. Pitkin County has shown interest as well,” Rasnic said.

Rasnic said that while the county will have to initially subsidize the facility, it should fund itself within a few years.

Ullom also pointed out that the facility also will that mean less trash will go into the county landfill.

“It extends the life of our landfill,” he said. “Otherwise we’re going to be back to looking at another place for our landfill, and that cost could be huge.”

Eventually the new building will allow the county to recycle more types of materials. Right now the county only recycles plastic types 1 and 2, but with the facility, the county may also be able to take types 3 through 7, Rasnic said.

Also, the current curbside service does not take cardboard, but with an expanded program, residents would be able to recycle corrugated cardboard and cereal-box type cardboard.

The building is designed for future expansion, and someday may be able to sort through all the county’s trash for recyclables, Rasnic said.

Commissioners said they were behind the plan for the new facility.

“I seems to have all the components of being the right decision,” Commissioner Sara Fisher said. “The payback is not that far away.”

Commissioner Arn Menconi said the county is very behind in developing a recycling program, and he hopes the new facility will help towns like Eagle and Gypsum get curbside service.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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