Recycling center to open in town

Craig residents soon will have an alternative to sending their aluminum, plastic, paper and cardboard to the Moffat County Landfill.

Road and Bridge Department Director Randy Call estimates the city-sponsored facility will open around July 1, about a month later than expected because the wrong containers were delivered. On Monday, the correct ones arrived.

The north Yampa Avenue site has been paved, and the lighting and camera system has been installed. The city is awaiting delivery of two new oil recycling containers, purchased so the city can collect used motor oil in a safer and less visible area.

There are three oil collecting "igloos" in front of City Market. Their capacity is about 1,200 gallons, and users often overfill them, causing the oil to run down the front and into the city's sewer system.

The new containers will have a 3,000-gallon capacity and will be more user-friendly, Call said.

The site will have a three-opening Dumpster for mixed paper, cardboard and commingle, which includes plastic and aluminum. No glass will be accepted at this time.

The city's $34,000 recycling program budget will cover the purchase of a Dumpster. It will be gone for nearly three hours each time it gets full because it has to be driven to Waste Management in Steamboat Springs, which has agreed to accept the city's recyclables.

How often the Dumpster is filled is anyone's guess.

"It'll be a pilot program until we see what the participation rate will be," City Manager Jim Ferree said. "We'll track our expenses so the City Council and the public can know what we're spending on this program."

Ferree applied for a $20,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant, a portion of which would be used to purchase a second container so there would be no times when residents could not dump, but that grant will not be awarded until September.

Residents will have to be extremely careful about what they take to be recycled. A load that contains one item that is not recyclable -- a trash bag or miscellaneous garbage -- is considered contaminated and Waste Management will not accept it.

"The biggest problem is contaminates," Ferree said. "Once a load is contaminated, that whole load has to go to the landfill."

The site will never be closed.

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