Group, city look at recycling

Council to hear pilot program that would clean up town

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— In an effort to improve recycling in the city, Yampa Valley Recycles will attempt tonight to get the City Council to approve a pilot program that would add recycling drop-offs to newspaper boxes. The project, which derives some of its inspiration from projects in other mountain towns, would be put in place on Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue in front of Mountain Souper Juice this summer.

The recycling group is concerned both about the appearance of the sidewalks and the lack of recycling boxes in Steamboat. The group has devised an idea to make newspaper providers consolidate their boxes into one larger structure that would hold all of the boxes. TCD would build the structures free of charge and the recycling group hopes the city will agree to pay for the materials $2,200.

The project would also cost the city $3,432 to $5,720 annually in staff time to unload the recyclables and maintain the structure.

The newspaper companies themselves would have to pay for the boxes they would put in the larger structures.

Suzanne Schlicht, publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today, said the newspaper has agreed to participate in the pilot program. She said the boxes will cost the paper between $300 and $500, depending on whether the boxes are coin-activated.

On the sides of the structure would be recycling containers, one of which would hold newspapers and the other of which could hold glass, plastic and aluminum, said Barbara Hughes, chairwoman of the recycling group.

"We hope to beautify downtown and provide recycling at the same time," Hughes said. "Eventually, it would just clean up the look of the sidewalks."

The group made sure to get the OK on the project from local businesses, more than 45 of which signed letters of support, though two businesses were concerned about its implications for taxpayers and businesses. The Downtown Business Association also endorsed the project.

Hughes said the project could be expanded throughout town if the pilot works, meaning there could be similar structures placed every other block downtown a total of about eight. Eventually, the program could be expanded to the mountain area, Hughes said.

City officials have been helping the group formulate the proposal and have recommended the council approve the idea.

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