Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ketchum readies for recycling changes

Reducing and reusing emphasized

Express Staff Writer

    Ketchum residents will join others throughout the county in adjusting to a new recycling program starting Oct. 1.
    The Ketchum City Council was briefed Sept. 4 on what the county’s soon-to-be-implemented new program will entail.
    “I learned that recycling is not the best thing to do. Reducing and reusing are the most effective,” Ketchum resident Mike Thompson said at the meeting, referring to his time on the citizen advisory committee formed to come up with solutions to improve recycling efforts in the valley.
    “Reducing and reusing do not require processing or transportation,” Hailey resident and advisory committee member Cathy Tyson-Foster said.
    However, recycling certain items is still better than throwing them away, advisors said.
    The type of recycling program recommended by the committee and approved by the county in July is called a “modified sort” system. Rather than having recyclers sort items into six bins as they do now, the new system will allow residents to simply sort materials into three groups—fiber (all paper items), metal (all cans) and plastic.

“I learned that recycling is not the best thing to do. Reducing and reusing are the most effective.”
Mike Thompson
Committee member

    Recyclers will no longer be able to recycle grades 6 and 7 of plastic, nor will they be able to place glass at the curb.
    Even under the old program, glass was never actually recycled in Blaine County. It was just separated from the other trash. Under the new program, glass will only be accepted at the Ohio Gulch recycling center.
    “These were really well-thought-out decisions,” Tyson-Foster said at the meeting. “The committee put a lot of time into this.”
    Clear Creek Disposal owner Mike Goitiandia spoke in favor of the new plan.
    “I agree fully with the committee and I think it’s the right choice for the community,” he said.
    Council President Baird Gourlay expressed curiosity as to why glass should be dropped off at the recycling center.
    “If we don’t recycle glass, why separate it? Why not just throw it away,” Gourlay said.
    Ketchum Planning Manager and advisory committee member Joyce Allgaier said that it was a matter of both principal and practicality.
    “It sends the right message, and it keeps our trash shipping costs lower, since the glass is separate and we’re not paying to ship its weight,” she said.

Brennan Rego:

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