Recyclers honored

America Recycles Day is Wednesday in Routt County



Maggie Glueck says she makes a recycling trip at least once a week. She takes her recyclable material from her home in the country to Waste Management in Steamboat Springs. Waste Management was recognized by Yampa Valley Recycles as Municipal Recycler of the Year .

— Yampa Valley Recycles honored a group of five businesses and organizations during a presentation at Tuesday's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting.

Waste Management was named Municipal Recycler of the Year; the Steamboat Springs Middle School was named School Recycler of the Year; ResortQuest was named Multi-family Recycler of the Year; Alpine Bank was named Business Recycler of the Year; and the post office was named Recycler of the Year.

The awards were a lead-in for Wednesday, which the Routt County Commissioners proclaimed as America Recycles Day in Routt County.

"About 30 percent of the country's waste volume is recycled, (which is) up from six or seven percent in the 1960s," said Mike Zopf, director of Routt County's Department of Environmental Health. "Locally, we're at about seven or eight percent."

The commissioners also recognized the volunteers and employees of Yampa Valley Recycles for their "tremendous dedication and ongoing efforts to expand, promote and educate the public on recycling in Yampa Valley," the proclamation reads.

Waste Management, which has provided recycling in Steamboat Springs for more than 15 years, has offered a curbside recycling program for nearly 12 years. It is currently piloting a single stream curbside-recycling program that will allow residents to recycle more items, such as plastics, office paper and paperboard, with less sorting.

To further encourage citywide recycling, Waste Management provides reduced rates for city properties and the Steamboat Springs School District.

"They're expanding their recycling offers," said Craig Shifter, chairman for Yampa Valley Recycles. "Their volume is going to jump quite a bit."

The green team at the middle school began the recycling program at the school and provides all the recycling needs of the building.

The recycling program at ResortQuest is employee driven. The program has nine volunteers who collect at two centers. The recyclers also provide recycling for guests who request it.

Alpine Bank has created a corporate and local green team in each branch. Their goal is to sustain and preserve the natural environment. They have measured water and energy consumption and waste production to set corporate goals based on the findings.

Examples of those goals include a 50 percent reduction in waste by 2008, a 20 percent reduction in paper usage by the end of 2006, and reductions in water and electrical usage.

In addition, Alpine Bank received an ISO 14001 certification, which is a standard of excellence for environmental management.

The post office, in coordination with the city's Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces department and Waste Management, has been offering unwanted mail recycling since June. It is expected trash has decreased by nearly 50 percent since June, according to Yampa Valley Recycles.


hubiem 10 years, 5 months ago

i find it sickening that here in the yampa valley we only recycle 7 or 8 percent of our waste. that is only up one percent from the nationwide average of the sixties. i would like to think that the people here love the beautiful part of the country that we live in enough to keep it beautiful. the local people are very into the outdoors. almost everyone i know recycles to some extent. how could we not be recycling more than that? is it all of the rich second home owners that aren't in my circle of friends that are not recycling any of their garbage? i recycle everything that i possibly can here, although the recycling program here leaves a lot to be desired. where i went to college the recycling program was great. they took all 1 and 2 plastics small neck or not. they also took all 3, 4, and 5 plastics if you seperated them from the ones and twos. they took paperboard like cereal boxes, beer and soft drink cartons. they took wadded up aluminum foil. one of the biggest sources of garbage from our house is the paperboard that is not recycled here. i fail to understand why it can be recycled in one part of the country, but not here.


me 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, my guess is they don't recycle paperboard because it doesn't make them (Waste Management) enough money, though from the article it looks like they're trying. It's hard to have a financially viable recycling program when you're pretty far from the actual recycling plants. And most communities are unwilling to recycle if there's any notable additional cost. Also, once you haul that stuff for 3 hours, you may well have used up as much energy as you were going to save by recycling it. In areas like Steamboat (well, everywhere, but more so in areas that require extra transportation to get your Sugar Smacks cereal to you), reducing and reusing will get you a lot more benefit than recycling. Try Malt-o-Meal cereal in the bag instead, if the boxes are bothering you. :)


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