City eyes Devereux site for temp recycling
A land trade between the city and school district that paves the way for a revamped Glenwood Springs Elementary School campus and eventual redevelopment of the confluence area also means the city’s recycle center will need to be relocated, though not right away.
City officials are working on a plan to temporarily move the recycle center from the south end of School Street to a piece of city-owned property on Devereux Road. The site is where the city ultimately plans to build its new electric utility operations center, but for now is vacant.
Glenwood Public Works Director Robin Millyard said during a Thursday work session with City Council that he hopes to have the recycling facility moved by this fall, even the land swap agreement gives the city until March of next year to make the move.
Last week, the city and the Roaring Fork School District agreed to a swap that puts the land south of Glenwood Elementary, including the recycling center, in the school’s hands for its planned new building, campus overhaul and renovation of the 1920s-era “old main” building.
In turn, the city will take possession of about two-thirds of the existing Vogelaar Park parcel north of the school, which it envisions for residential development as part of the confluence-area master plan.
A longer-term conversation for the city is whether it will continue to operate the free recycling service as is, or whether to implement a fee-based system to help pay for the program.
In any case, the relocation to the Devereux site will be temporary, Millyard said. City plans call for the electric department to be moved from the Municipal Operations Center on Wulfsohn Road to the Devereux property in the coming years.
“The current plan fully occupies the property, so the two uses are probably not compatible long-term,” Millyard said. “That said, the existing recycle service can be replicated in full at the proposed site.”
It will involve a 15,000-square-foot enclosure with a chain-link fence and a one-way in/out access drive. A portable office with water and electric connections, long with a wastewater holding tank and pump, will also be needed. Total cost to complete the relocation and erect the necessary facilities will be about $72,000, Millyard said.
Meanwhile, costs to haul recycled materials have already gone up about 55 percent this year, Millyard also reported to council.
“At some point, we will need to address that,” he said of the $135,000-per-year operation.
The increase in recycling costs is an economic trend that has hit other collection services in the area, including curbside pick up which is offered by trash haulers, Mayor Mike Gamba observed.
He and other council members said it makes sense to do a full cost-benefit analysis of the city program in the coming months, and whether it’s time for a use fee.
Recycled materials, including commingled glass, aluminum, tin and plastic, newspapers and magazines, office paper, cardboard boxes and phone books are accepted at Glenwood’s recycling center.
Materials are typically hauled to the Eagle County landfill or a facility in Denver, Millyard said. Recycled materials taken at the city’s South Canyon Landfill, which is privately managed, are handled separately, he said.
The current recycle center days and hours of operation, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, would continue at the relocated site, Millyard said.
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Citing employee safety and cost effectiveness, the city will soon relocate the five departments currently housed in its Municipal Operations Center (MOC).