We at Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, in partnership with Routt County, Waste Management, Twin Enviro and the city of Steamboat Springs, have spent the past two years struggling to provide adequate options for the high demand on our public recycling drop-off locations. As you may know, in January, Waste Management had to begin charging for recycling drop off at their Downhill Drive location, due to the increasing expense that recycling has incurred.
While these recyclable products can be sold (plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, metals), the value of those products is extremely low (and still dropping), the process requires manpower, trucking/transportation and other expensive overhead, and therefore recycling can be two to five times more expensive than the disposal of waste in a traditional landfill.
But recycling is still the right thing to do. It helps with: protecting our environment, reducing our impact on the planet and preserving our beautiful open spaces for generations to come.
We and our partners appreciate your patience while we come up with an alternative plan for the now-discontinued “Green Machines” at Safeway.
YVSC, Routt County, the city Steamboat Springs and LBA Associates are currently in the middle of an extensive feasibility study on traditional recycling. The study will assess local and regional markets of these products, overall and specific costs for the complete processes of recycling from collection to distribution, resulting in information to help us develop a comprehensive plan for infrastructure, processing, mechanisms, and policies.
In the meantime, we appreciate you looking into the option for curbside recycling, or using either the Waste Management (Downhill Drive) or Twin Enviro (Milner Landfill) drop-off locations. Both will have a nominal fee.
To stay up to date on recycling updates in Steamboat, please sign up for our mailings at www.yvsc.org.
Andy Kennedy and Emilie Rogers
Yampa Valley Sustainability Council