Letter: Recycling options
With hope, encouragement and support, I urge the city of Glenwood Springs to reconsider relocating the recycling center to the South Canyon Landfill. Centrally located, convenient opportunities may have been overlooked. The actual footprint of land area of our current recycle center is not very large. In Aspen, the Rio Grande facility is small, well landscaped and centrally located in downtown for businesses and residents. Similarly, Basalt had community recycling on a small parcel.
The Garfield County assessor has an online Land Explorer tool allowing one to view and determine ownership of parcels. Focusing on areas between downtown and West Glenwood, possibilities exist on city- or public entity-owned parcels, or through land swaps/acquisitions of small-sized, privately owned land. These include reconfiguring/relocating parking adjacent to City Hall and the county jail incorporating the historic Rio Grande Railroad freight shed, utilizing land at or near the Community Center and community gardens, plus areas near the city MOC/RFTA bus facility/Park and Ride lot. Another viewed possibility is city right-of-way between the CDOT facility and Iron Mountain Hot Springs.
Harkening back to the days of Valley Resource Management, a regional effort by local governments, private entities and landfill owners, a creative, lucrative option might be to locate a city-owned recycle facility adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and ship regional recyclables via rail. This could be facilitated by the City Hall location or along Devereaux Road with reconsideration of city-owned property or UPRR land. The mapping tool shows such arrangement may exist with the tank farm in that area. Guaranteed freight traffic to UP could be mutually beneficial if UP property was available for the city.
(Un)Intended consequences of the city’s decision to relocate to its landfill may be to increase waste landfilled and decrease recycling from those deciding to trash recyclables rather than drive to South Canyon. As the city landfill is an enterprise fund, greater revenues and fewer expenses can motivate decisions. Hopefully a better location than proposed will be found.
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