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County receives grant, will expand recycling, increase revenues

Staff Writer

With an agreement approved on Tuesday, Archuleta County is one step closer to expanding its recycling facility.

The agreement, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability, extends funding to Archuleta County to purchase and install a baler, construct a concrete pad and cover for the baler, upgrade the recycling facility by adding three-phase electricity, and purchase a skid-loader for large recyclable bales.

Through the agreement, the county is being offered $136,379, with a required county match of $41,675. Of that amount, $18,012 will be matched from existing wages and benefits. The remaining $23,663, said contracts and procurement officer Larry Walton, will have to be shifted within the Solid Waste budget and will be made up with revenue from the expansion.

The baler and skid-loader, according to agenda documentation, will, “facilitate the sale of bulk cardboard, plastic and aluminum, so that the County will create a new revenue stream.”

Currently, the county pays to transport and drop off recyclables at a facility in New Mexico.

Sales of the baled materials, staff estimates, will generate approximately $30,000 to $35,000 in revenue for the remainder of 2013, and as much as $65,000 in future years, based on current market rates for the material.

“This is what we need,” commissioner Michael Whiting said.

“Nobody loves trash the way you do,” commissioner Steve Wadley said to Solid Waste Director David Sterner in commending Sterner’s creativity and work.

Commissioner Clifford Lucero ended discussion on the topic by noting that Archuleta County is becoming a leader in the industry and he, too, commended the effort to enhance recycling.

The agreement was approved unanimously.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on June 20, 2013.