Success – 60% More Recycled in the County This Year
The recently completed Lake County recycling project was selected by Colorado Department Public Health Environment (CDPHE) as a notable project completed this year. Lake County Commissioner Mike Bordogna, Lake County Public Works Director Brad Palmer and Lynne Greene of the High Country Conservation Center traveled to Denver to present project results to the CDPHE board on Oct. 23.
Due to the increased infrastructure, access and services, Lake County and Green Wolf Recycling collected a total 435 tons of recyclable materials over the course of the project year. This amounts to a 60% increase over the previous year.
“Our goal was a 40% increase in recycled materials collected in Lake County over the grant term. We knew that was an aggressive goal so to find that as a community we recycled 60% more than last year, made us extremely proud of the project,” said Bordogna.
The county and Green Wolf Recycling received a total of $160,000 from CDPHE in 2011, which resulted in the new recycling center as well as a new processing equipment, six new roll-offs and recycling bins in the down town area.
Lake County Recycling Center Grand Opening – Last December
The new recycling center at the landfill accepts more materials, including paperboard and batteries. It also brings in additional revenue for the county. The county’s current contract with Waste Management for recyclable materials brought in approximately $16,000 in additional revenue over the last 12 months.
Perhaps the most visible reminder of the community’s commitment are the new blue recycling bins in the downtown area, which are also managed by Green Wolf Recycling.
“I love to see people using the recycling bins downtown,” said Heather Glyde, Leadville resident and owner of Sawatch Backcountry. “It sends a great message about Leadville and the County.”
It is also easier for those living in surrounding communities to reach recycling drop-off centers. Green Wolf Recycling now manages two additional drop sites north and south of town. Twin Lakes residents, for example, can drop off recyclable materials at the two roll-offs at the junction of CR 10 and Hwy 24 South.
“We are proud to be able to offer more services to the community,” said Josh Garcia of Green Wolf Recycling. “At the first of the year Green Wolf will be expanding its services to include greater steel and metal capabilities and the additional of vehicle recycling. We plan to keep expanding to serve the community.”
Lake County’s efficient management of the grant funds made it possible to purchase a few additional items not included in the original scope of work. Palmer and the Public Works staff found purchasing and constructing the new recycling center to be cost effective. The county was then able to purchase additional equipment to aid in project goals, including processing equipment such as grapple forks, hoppers and an electrical service upgrade.
“I am a convert to recycling,” said Palmer. “It made a difference to see our own household trash bills go down as we recycled at home. I also know that keeping trash off the face of our landfill extends its life. Building new landfill capacity will be a costly project for our the county in the future.”
“We have been invited to submit another proposal in 2013,” said Greene, who coordinated the original grant submission. “We have accomplished great things over the last year, but there is still important work to do. Next year, we will work with the county and Green Wolf to develop household hazardous waste and electronics recycling. We have also been developing youth education programs. It’s extremely important to help our kids become leaders in this effort. The newly formed Cloud City Conservation Center plans to focus energies on these projects next year as the outreach arm of the county’s recycling efforts.”