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Recyling may get revamped

Tamara Miller
NWS Recycling DT 3-23
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EAGLE COUNTY ” The county’s recycling program needs a kick in the bins.

After years of watching residents abuse and misuse the county’s seven recycling drop-off areas, county officials are preparing to hand the recycling program over to a group more passionate about the idea: The Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.

“People use these containers to bring their trash and that’s not the point,” said Ron Rasnic, the county’s solid waste manager.



The private trash hauler, Waste Management, Inc., manages and picks up the recycling at the drop-off sites. The sites aren’t monitored, and the bins there are being used as a dumping ground for unrecyclable goods.

The Eagle Valley Alliance, as they are more commonly called, is willing to take over the program and has plans to monitor the drop-offs more often.

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Matt Scherr, president of the nonprofit environmental advocacy group, told the Board of County Commissioners earlier this week that many residents just don’t know enough about local recycling programs.

Minturn and Red Cliff, for example, will pick up recycling in front of single-family homes, he said. And residents in general need to be better educated on how the recycling bins work and why recycling is so important, he said.

The Eagle Valley Alliance is offering to take over the program in 2006 for $247,000 a year. The county budgeted $200,000 for recycling this year. The contract with Waste Management is up for renewal on Jan. 1, 2006.



The nonprofit group would consider getting rid of the drop-off sites in Minturn and Red Cliff because streetside pick-up is available. To further cut costs, the group is considering eliminating the drop-off sites in Gypsum and Edwards, too, Scherr said, adding he would prefer to keep the sites open.

Closing the sites concerns some, including County Commissioner Tom Stone.

“It’s counter-intuitive to me to get an increase in diversion by eliminating four out of seven sites,” Stone said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has complained about the location and messy condition of the Edwards drop-off, which is near a rest area, Scherr said. Gypsum’s site gets several complaints, for being unsightly, too.

The board hasn’t decided yet if it will ask the nonprofit group to take over the recycling program. If the nonprofit takes over, Scherr said he intends to hire a recycling manager to monitor the drop-off sites and help educate the public.

The Eagle Valley Alliance also will have to contract with a garbage hauler to pick up the recyclable goods and take them to a recycling plant, Rasnic said.

Some residents have complained about the local recycling program because the local hauler doesn’t accept several types of recyclable goods.

For now, the goal will be to improve the current program, Rasnic said.

Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or tmiller@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado


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