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What: Routt County Commissioners consider amending the permit for Twin Enviro’s Milner Landfill to allow construction of a recycling center and more.
Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs.
When: 1:30 p.m., April 22
Steamboat Springs Dave Epstein, of Twin Enviro Services, will introduce tentative plans for a new recycling center in Routt County on Tuesday when he comes before the Routt County commissioners seeking an amendment to the permit for the Milner Landfill.
The recycling center at the landfill is planned to have its own baler for recyclable materials. It is located about 12 miles west of Steamboat Springs.
Twin Landfill purchased the existing trash hauling company, Old West Sanitation, within the last two years and serves customers in Routt and Moffat counties. Epstein, an ardent advocate for not just recycling but composting kitchen scraps and reusing building materials, said his company’s goal is to remove glass and cardboard from single-stream recycling.
“We’re looking to take glass out of the recycling stream and make the glass come to the landfill and use it out there as daily cover to prevent trash from blowing around (as well as) using crushed glass to form the base drainage layer in the landfill,” he said.
Glass, Epstein said Friday, has little value as a recycled material and adds weight and volume to truckloads of more desirable recycled materials bound for Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in distant cities. And his focus on removing glass from the recycling stream goes beyond his own company. He said he has been in consultation with the dominant trash hauler in the region, Waste Management, as well as the operators of a MRF in Eagle County. Presently, Waste Management trucks its recyclables to a MRF on the Front Range.
Single-stream recycling comes with the cost of curbside trash pickup in the city of Steamboat Springs. But when Waste Management announced in January that it would begin charging non-customers a $5 fee for loads of recyclables dropped off at its facility on Downhill Drive on Steamboat’s west side, it put more pressure on the already overflowing “Green Monster” recycling dumpster maintained in the Safeway grocery parking lot between downtown and the mountain.
The result was that local recycling advocates, including the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council/Yampa Valley Recycles, began rethinking the way the community recycles.
The Green Machine is funded in part through a rebate of a small portion of tipping fees collected at the Milner Landfill and passed through Routt County government.
Lara Rezzarday, Waste Management senior communications specialist in the Four Corners Area, told Steamboat Today early this year that the new fee in Steamboat was imposed as recycling companies are examining every part of the business.
“The cost to recycle has increased because we are dealing with a more complex, more contaminated mix, while market conditions have constricted, demanding cleaner loads of outbound recyclables,” Rezzarday said. “This is forcing Waste Management and other recyclers to examine every part of our recycling business for opportunities to improve the quality of material we receive, improve our operations and improve opportunities to offer recycling to our customers.”
Epstein said his company wants to work with the community and the region to resolve some of the problems associated with recycling.
“We’re trying to work with the hauling companies to come up with a better system for our community,” he said.
In addition to the new recycling facility, Twin Enviro is seeking other changes at the Milner Landfill that will be reflected on the amended permit. They include converting the existing offices from a pair of single-wide trailers to a double-wide trailer clad in beetle-kill pine that will be adjacent to the weigh station for incoming trash trucks.
County Planner Alan Goldich said an April 3 recommendation of approval by Planning Commission gives the landfill a Nov. 1 target date to address several structures at its Home Resource Center that do not have building permits.
Goldich previously told the county commissioners that while the new and largest open-sided structure at the center, where used building materials like doors, windows and cabinetry are stored, has a building permit. However some pole-barn style buildings there do not. The same is the case with some old mobile homes salvaged from the defunct Westland Mobile Home Park in Steamboat, now used for storage.
Goldich said even relocated mobile homes being used for storage require a permit from the building department because of the change of use.
Epstein said his company is evaluating whether to incur the expense of acquiring permits for the structures or to simply demolish them.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1