Six months after opening a recycling center, city officials and residents declare it a success.
"I haven't heard one complaint," Craig City Councilor Tom Gilchrist said. "Most people have said they're thrilled we've got it."
Officials decided early this year that there was enough demand for recycling that the city should take the lead in opening a center.
Six months and 22 loads later, they said the city was right to do so.
"We were looking at what people wanted in Craig and said they wanted on several surveys," Gilchrist said.
Road and Bridge Department Director Randy Call conducted the research and reported to the council that there wasn't enough profit in recycling for a private company to take it on, so the city made the nearly $40,000 initial investment for containers, signs and a truck to haul recyclables from the 1775 Yampa Ave. site to Steamboat Springs.
Call hasn't calculated the cost of keeping the program going but said the only investment now is in time and gasoline.
Workers deliver recyclable paper, plastic and cardboard to Waste Management in Steamboat, where the materials are processed and sold.
Waste Management doesn't charge to accept the trash, and the city doesn't profit from the sale.
Gilchrist said it would have cost the city more to run the entire program than just paying to collect and haul materials for someone else to process.
The city has hauled 12 loads of cardboard, six loads of paper and four loads of plastics to Steamboat.
"It's been successful," Call said. "People have been wonderful."
He said the site is kept clean and that people are taking care not to mix trash with recyclables, which helps keep down operating costs.
Craig resident Barb Stoddard said she is happy the city has a recycling center. Stoddard has been a regular since its July opening.
"The people I meet out here are thrilled," Stoddard said Friday. "They all say, 'It's about time,' or 'What did we do before this?'"
"Well, we had to throw it all away, put it in the trash."
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.