Friday, July 13, 2012

Waste diversion program yields results

Contractor saved 50 percent in hauling costs

Express Staff Writer

Builders in Hailey are learning that while recycling construction waste is a complicated process, it can save money.

Two contractors who recently participated in the city's Construction Recycling and Diversion pilot program saved money on trash-hauling costs. The materials included plastic, wood, metals and cardboard, as well as lunch bags and boxes used by workers on construction sites.

The pilot program, funded by an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, provides rebates of up to $500 for contractors willing to include recycling bins on site and to be monitored closely in their effort to separate recyclables, and divert them from the landfill.

The program uses existing recycling services at Ohio Gulch and served by Clear Creek Disposal, but focuses builders on particular strategies to reduce waste during demolition and construction of buildings.

On Monday, Hailey resident Elizabeth Jeffrey presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission results of diversion monitoring at a Hailey Elementary School remodel and at a new Woodside subdivision residential project.

Jeffrey said diversion of recyclables at Hailey Elementary saved McKinstry Construction $5,092 and diverted 32 percent of construction waste from the landfill. The Woodside project saved Bradley Construction $174 in trash-hauling costs and diverted 50 percent of construction waste from the landfill.

Interviews with contractors participating in the program indicate that they would like to have known more about the amount of materials that can be recycled by the Building Materials Thrift Store in Hailey, which takes materials from the site for no charge.

One contractor stated that compacting cardboard for recycling took an unexpectedly long time and that hauling costs are higher in the Wood River Valley than elsewhere due to the hauler's contracted "monopoly" in Hailey.

Suggestions from builders on how to improve the program include providing contractors with recycling instructions during the building permitting process to increase understanding of the process.

"We need to make it more easily understandable," Jeffrey said.

In other Hailey news:

( Hailey is one of 50 communities in the U.S. competing at six months of recycling efforts for a $100,000 grant from SC Johnson Corp. The challenge kicked off the week of July 2 and the winner will be announced in January.

For more information, call Hailey City Hall at 788-4221.

Tony Evans:

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