Our view: Craig recycling great idea

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Steamboat does it. So do Hayden and Meeker.

Now it looks like Craig is going to seriously explore the possibility of giving residents the opportunity to recycle certain materials.

It all depends on cost. Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said the city is considering a couple of options, but the final decision will hinge on the cost of transporting recyclable materials to market.

The mere fact that the city is studying the issue deserves some praise. The only recycling options for Craig residents is hauling stuff by private vehicle to Hayden or Meeker.

The issue came to the fore because it's been weighing on the mind of Craig Mayor Dave DeRose lately and he saw a recent opportunity to do something about it. But the mayor doesn't want to take credit for the idea because the entire council has been considering it for years.

"We've looked at it before, but with our flat budgets the last few years, there's not a lot of money to take and throw at recycling and keep everything on an even keel."

However, during a conversation with the mayor of Hayden, DeRose learned that Waste Management collects recyclable items in Hayden and transports them to Steamboat for a fee that might be reasonable enough for the City Council to consider.

That opened the mayor's eyes to other possibilities, including hauling loads of recyclable materials to Steamboat or Meeker, which collects cardboard, newspapers and aluminum.

Ferree said it's his understanding that Meeker makes about as much selling the materials in Denver and Grand Junction as it costs to transport them there.

That's important.

"What we don't want is to have to raise rates," Ferree said. "We'll start slow, see what the market is for the recyclable products and go from there."

DeRose is fairly confident that Craig residents will respond to the opportunity for a voluntary recycling program.

"I wouldn't say Craig residents are apathetic about recycling. They just don't have the opportunity. You could say seven years ago we were apathetic about youth," he said, pointing to the several youth organizations, including the new Boys and Girls Club, that are flourishing.

We applaud the effort to bring a recycling program back to Craig. Whether residents choose to use it or not, at least they'll have a choice.

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