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  • Tom McCracken

Blast from the Past 3/4/18

RECYCLING ISSUES

If you have been to the landfill lately you may have noticed that the area that had previously been designated for recycling has now become a storehouse of recyclable waste product laid out flat across the terrain covering multiple acres. Cardboard boxes that have been uncovered all winter lie open to the wind. The building that was meant to separate plastic from aluminum from glass is now filled to capacity and unreachable due to the accumulation of what may one day become just trash. (According to a source close to the operation.)

Conscientious citizens of Saguache County have been paying to have their recyclables recycled. They may not know that these items they sorted and kept separate from the trash and then paid to have recycled are just getting dumped in a huge pile at the landfill. The county has no comprehensive plan to deal with this issue. I have pointed out the problem to commissioners on more than one occasion.

Road and Bridge, (in charge of the landfill) will not purchase compactors to process the waste into a form that can be handled by recycling companies. They will not pay the cost to haul the recyclables to the nearest facility. A contractor has been charged with duties of collection and disposal but as far as I have been able to tell over the past year and a half the pile of unrecycled trash has just grown and grown. Unfortunately, the cost of recycling exceeds the revenue from the end product.

If in fact a contract exists with the operator of the recycling project at the landfill that actually requires the contractor to recycle the items collected, then that contract needs to be enforced. The contractor has been collecting fees for picking up and receiving recyclables at the landfill, but most of these have not been recycled.

Judging by the size of the pile, Saguache County residents wish their trash to be recycled. The landfill budget should reflect these wishes. It is the right thing to do.

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