Summit County may ban trash ‘exports’

Should recycling pay its own way?

Recycling and diversion operations facing serious budget crunch; new licensing requirements for trash haulers could “stem the bleeding”

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Facing dwindling revenues at the landfill, Summit County may set up a licensing program for trash haulers and enact so-called flow-control measures that would make it illegal for haulers to ship waste out of the county.

The landfill portion of the solid waste program is self-supporting, but the recycling operation can’t function without a $400,000 annual subsidy from the landfill. The entire program has seen its budget cut from $4.7 million down to $3.8 million per year.

Assistant county manager Thad Noll said that more and more trash is being sent to the Front Range, where landfills can charge less because they’re not supporting diversion programs like electronics collection, household hazardous waste and recycling.

“Zero waste doesn’t mean taking the trash somewhere else,” Noll said, referring to the county’s stated policy goal of reducing the overall waste stream. Continue reading

Contained motocross track eyed for landfill property

A group of Summit County locals working together on a plan for motorized recreation are considering some land between Dillon Dam, visible at left, and I-70 as a potential venue for a trail riding and motocross area. Some people involved in the stakeholder meetings said a national forest tract squeezed between the road and the highway, in the hills visible at center-right in the photo, could be the key to creating a trail system. The area could work well because there aren't many homes nearby. The National Forest parcel is cut off from other Forest Service land by the roads.

Collaborative effort paying off, as motorized users, neighborhood residents start to find common ground; new areas considered for long-term moto use, including Forest Service land between I-70 and the Dam Road

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After a summer showdown over motorized use on the county landfill property,  community residents have started working together on a plan to manage the area and build a dirt bike track in a location where the noise and environmental impacts can be limited.

Looming is a Jan. 1 cutoff for motorized use at the landfill property, set by the county commissioners during a meeting last August.

“That’s when the commissioners said motorized use will end,” said assistant county manager Thad Noll. “Some time after that, SCORR (Summit County Off-Road Riders) can come in with a management plan, and the board will consider letting them use that property again,” he said.

Recent meetings among county officials, motorized users and residents of neighborhoods in the Snake River Basin have been productive, Noll added.

The stakeholders are also looking at a few other locations in the county to establish a motorized recreation area on a more permanent basis. One option could be to build new trails on land between I-70 and the Dam Road, with a parking area and trailhead near the fairgrounds, below Dillon Dam.

“Everybody gets it. The days of unmanaged off-road riding are over,” said Mary Patterson, who has been organizing efforts on behalf of the motorized community. During a meeting in November, the focus was on a managed riding area near Buena Vista that could serve as a model for Summit County, Patterson said. Continue reading

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