County may get wood processing plant

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When construction sites are cleared, trees, shrubs and even grass can be recycled at wood processing plants. The recycled wood then can be used for firewood, posts, woodchips, mulch and more, saving landfill space and disposal costs.

The Routt County Regional Planning Commission will hear a request to start such a processing plant near the Milner landfill at its meeting tonight.

The recycling plant, proposed by M.J. Miller Inc., would sit on about 7 acres now used as pasture. The land is accessed from a private road, with U.S. Highway 40 about half a mile to the north.

The plant would process green waste, using equipment such as a wood mill, a wood chipper, a log loader, a front-end loader and a chain saw. The wood mill most likely would operate part time, with the wood chipper being brought to the site probably one or two weeks a year, according to information submitted by the applicant.

An estimated 3,000 cubic yards of green waste and 1,400 tons of timber are proposed to be recycled each year, with one to two part-time employees working as needed during operational hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A drop fee would be charged based on the amount a customer leaves for recycling.

The operation could result in four to six trucks each day traveling to the landfill to dispose of wood waste and two trucks disposing of green waste. Additional traffic would be created by the recycling center's own trucks picking up material.

Several local and state agencies have commented on the project. The Water Quality Control Division, for example, has said a Light Industrial Stormwater Permit is required for the recycling center, a permit for which the company has applied.

The owner of the Twin Landfill expressed concerns of possible contamination of wells at the landfill, dust, traffic and visual impacts, according to the application.

The Planning Commission is expected to make a recommendation on the application at tonight's meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Commissioners Hearing Room in the Routt County Courthouse Annex.

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