Steamboat Springs Twin Enviro Services President David Epstein confirmed Tuesday to the Routt County Board of Commissioners that his company is interested in providing the community with recycling Dumpsters, which it in turn would haul to a new recycling baler it intends to install in a new building at the Milner Landfill.
Epstein, who has been a strong advocate of recycling everything from construction materials to food waste that is turned into compost at the landfill, told the commissioners he envisioned that no more than a handful of people would deliver single-stream recycling items like plastics and cardboard to the landfill.
“We do currently have drop-off recycling during hours of operation, but we don’t see much coming our way,” he said.
The change being contemplated is that Twin Enviro may begin collecting recyclables from community containers. In the process, Epstein’s company tentatively plans to remove glass from the single-stream recycling and reuse it productively at the landfill.
The intent is to save the expense associated with hauling the heavy glass to a materials recovery facility in a distant city where it has no cash value, Epstein said.
He also is considering removing cardboard from the single-stream recyclables to make it easier to bale. Cardboard is the most cost-effective material to recycle, he said.
“There’s no value in glass, but there is good value in cardboard,” Epstein said. “Potentially, we’ll be putting containers around town just for glass and may have one right next to it for cardboard. That’s ideally how we’re looking at changing the system.”
Twin Enviro would charge a fee for drop-off recycling.
Epstein stopped short of providing more details about how the service would work or how it might mesh with the recycling Dumpster maintained by Waste Management in the Safeway grocery parking lot known as the Green Monster. However, he did confirm to Steamboat Today last week that he has been in consultation with the dominant trash hauler in the area about his recycling plans.
Steamboat Today reported in January that the Green Monster, already overflowing on a typical weekend, was seeing more pressure in the wake of the announcement that it would charge recyclers who aren’t already customers a $5 fee to drop off recyclables in its yard on the city’s far west side.
Routt County Environmental Health Director Mike Zopf, who actively engages the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Yampa Valley Recycles, praised Twin Enviro for its recycling efforts.
“David has really worked with YVR and YVSC to improve this issue,” Zopf said. “We really appreciate his company’s willingness to step up.”
Zopf noted that according to the state Health Department, Routt County recycles about 10 percent of its waste stream. He added that Epstein’s plan to crush recycled glass and use it as a cover and a drainage layer is recognized by the Colorado Health Department as an acceptable use.
The county commissioners voted unanimously to approve a permit to allow Twin Enviro to build the new recycling facility at the landfill headquarters.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1