Recycling effort seeks to forge county wide program
Recycling in the United States for many urban areas, like Seattle and parts of Salt Lake, is not a question, it's mandatory.
But in Carbon County, recycling still remains a question.
One group, however, would like to see a greater recycling effort across Carbon County.
The county currently recycles certain items such as batteries and tires, but no general large scale effort has been established.
Price councilmember Jeanne McEvoy describes the Green Team as a coalition of citizens and public officials who are exploring recycling possibilities in Carbon County. McEvoy is a member of the group.
Although it's not clear as to the type or scale of recycling could take place, it is apparent that there is some interest for a program.
According to a survey the group conducted involving 174 residents of Carbon County, 58 percent would support a centrally located drop off bin.
Initially, the Green Team hopes to do some research on how a recycling program would be conducted. But the members also intend to begin some sort of education system to inform citizens in Carbon County about the need to recycle.
During the group's last meeting on June 16, the educational program was moved to a top priority for the team.
"I don't think you can have a recycling program without the education," said Jeff Green of ECDC during the meeting.
Part of the need for education is that, in order for recycling to become sustainable county wide, additional tippage fees must be imposed on garbage, depending on the size and type of waste that is hulled off.
And the group believes that local residents will need to know why the rates are increasing.
"This would have to be county wide to work," said Green.
Rural areas face many problems concerning recycling, least of which is getting people involved, because cost and logistical issues tend to make the rural landscape less viable.
A given rural area's recyclable volumes frequently do not reach economies of scale.
And with expensive freight to major far off recycling centers, it becomes an uphill fight to recycle, which is why many areas like Carbon County lack recycling.
With these facts in mind, county officials and city councilmembers have not lost sight of environmental issues surrounding recycling.
"It's good and beneficial to recycle, but expensive in a small rural community," said Carbon commissioner Bill Krompel, (a Green Team member).
The Green Team has decided to pursue a plan in cooperation with ECDC that would tackle yard waste or "green waste," as McEvoy described it.
"Yard waste is filling up the Carbon County landfill. It's our number one priority," said McEvoy, adding that while it might not be a big issue now, it will eventually become one.
In terms of how long the county's landfill will last, Krompel said the depository facility is expected to last another 50 years.
Green waste can be relatively easily processed and reused in Carbon County, because citizens already buy pre done top soil, so the yard waste could be processed into a usable by-product of local recycling.
According to McEvoy, the county already has a chipper to deal with such waste that could be used for such a recycling program. Green also added that ECDC does not like to take this type of waste.
But the team has yet to formalize any kind of county-deal that would allow for the use of the chipper, or space to store the processed and unprocessed yard waste.
Part of what is appealing about processing green waste, is summed up by Green, who said the resulting compost could in the future be sold, but with a portion of the revenue going to support the county recycling program.
While organizationally the Green Team is still officially only a group of volunteers, during their last meeting deadlines were set to establish, a more formal hierarchy and elect a board and chairperson.
The group has also been awarded $7,200 from the Price city council pending a sound plan, and while much of their mission statement is currently under revision, it looks as if the group will become a more formal organization by summer's end.
The Green Team also hopes, according to their current mission statement that they can become a good example for other rural communities throughout the area.
With it's goals for the future, the group is forging ahead with it's smaller agenda items, to establish a strong base that will help it to educate the public as well as possibly bring a new service to Carbon County.