Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Commission supports new recycling strategy

Plan designed to raise awareness of recycling opportunities

ERC Schoen

Speaking to the rest of the Blaine County Commission Tuesday, Commissioner Larry Schoen announced that a tentative recycling agreement between Ketchum's Environmental Resource Center and the Southern Idaho Solid Waste District has been reached.

Schoen said the agreement was drafted by Craig Barry, executive director of the ERC, and Terry Schultz, director of the solid waste district.

"They came up with a proposal," he said.

Under their proposal, Barry and Schultz have agreed to a plan to encourage increased recycling participation by the greater Blaine County community. Under the agreement, which is set to take effect during the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the following recycling issues have been highlighted:

· General recycling messages. Here, a program of public recycling messages through local newspapers, radio and Web sites will encourage recycling by stressing the benefits and positive outcomes. The messages will provide information on what products are recyclable in Blaine County and how and where to recycle.

- E-waste recycling program. Here, ERC staff will be responsible for raising the public's awareness about the importance of recycling electronic waste. They'll also provide information on how and where to recycle such waste.

"I think the e-waste is something both parties want to work on," Schoen said.

- Promoting household hazardous waste disposal. Here, the general public is to receive clear and consistent messages identifying household waste that can be accepted into the recycling program, how to safely handle and store such materials at home and strategies aimed at smart shopping to reduce the use of hazardous and toxic materials.

Coming to this agreement required a certain amount of accommodation by both sides, Schoen said.

"They're both holding each other to a pretty rigorous standard," he said.

The tentative plan found favor in the entire three-member Blaine County Commission.

"I think it will be far more productive for both parties and the community," County Commissioner Sarah Michael said.

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