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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Recycling numbers improve

August summit to focus on program growth and hurdles

Express Staff Writer

Recycling in Blaine County is on the rise.

It’s been so successful, in fact, that Southern Idaho Regional Solid Waste District’s recycling facilities at the Ohio Gulch transfer station are beginning to show deficiencies.

Recycling on the rise. Timber Warehime deposits glass bottles in a recycling bin at the Ohio Gulch Resource Recovery Center. Express photo by David N. Seelig

"Recycling has been so successful here we’re encountering certain operational challenges at the resource recovery center," said Craig Barry, executive director of the Environmental Resource Center, the organization charged with outreach and education efforts in Blaine County.

Exactly what the challenges are, however, might not be clear until after an August summit of the various players in Blaine County’s recycling game. The Blaine County Commissioners, solid waste district and Environmental Resource Center members, to name a few, will sit down to discuss operational and budgetary plans for the coming year.

"We’ll look at everything," Barry said.

The event is conditionally set for Aug. 26.

There is no disputing, however, that recycling is on the rise. In the last 20 months, recycling has increased 6.2 percent. In 2001, Blaine County recycled 1,142 tons of waste at the Ohio Gulch facility. In 2004, Blaine County recycled 1,214 tons.

And recycling means cost savings to Blaine County, Barry said.

For every 1,000 tons of increased recycling, the county saves approximately $19,000 in avoided costs and could, based on a two-year average, generate nearly $45,000 in recycling revenues, Barry said.

In the two years the Environmental Resource Center has been working on outreach, recycling rates have increased.

The next step is to try to capitalize on the successes of the last few years, Barry said.


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