Grand County landfill’s future may be tied to recycling |

Grand County landfill’s future may be tied to recycling

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

If such a vote were to come up, Grand County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner says he probably wouldnt vote to expand the existing landfill.Last year, the county spent $7,244,469.51 on solid waste. Of that, $4 million was to control the landfills hillside from sliding into the dump site, another $100,000 was set aside to monitor the landfill for the following year, and $2 million was dedicated toward acquiring land and permitting for a new landfill site. The existing landfill generated $1,795,416 in revenues, but the county swallowed $5,449,053 in landfill deficit.Although he reports there has been no indication of slough threats to the landfill and that the existing site has a life-span of five more years, Bumgarner said if all stars align and a better solution were to appear, hed opt to start a new landfill elsewhere.At some point and time, its going to slide, he said. Whether its 10, 20, 25 years down the road, its my belief, and I dont want to do something thats going to hurt future boards.And when one considers the recycling quandary, stars just may be aligning.It appears the initial effort to secure recycling services for Grand Countys residents is about to crash and burn. At Tuesday nights Granby Town Board meeting, trustees said that although the only bid from a private trash company is tempting, if only to bring about a solution to the areas recycling woes, this may not be the solution theyd hoped for. That means three of the four towns interested in recycling are not interested in the collective $306,000-per-year bid to provide it.Maybe theres another way?Town and county officials are scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 20, at the countys road and bridge building in Granby to find out of if the most recent proposal has any rebound power. If not, the county may be sitting on another idea.The trash companies may have a better solution for the needs of Grand County, said Commissioner James Newberry. After we run through this process, then well explore other options.Perhaps, Newberry said, in the recent request for proposal public officials reached out to the trash-removal providers in the wrong manner by pigeon-holing a solution. Instead, commissioners hope to brainstorm how recycling, trash removal and a landfill might work in harmony.In a draft dated March 10, is a request for proposal from the county asking any and all trash companies what they think the solution might be. The idea is still rough as local trash businesses find out if participating in such a proposal would even be feasible, according to Newberry. The basic premise of the countys request is to explore whether there are ways to mix trash removal with recycling, and to explore what sort of facility would be needed to process it all.In gleaning possible answers to those questions, the county may be able to provide pieces to the puzzle such as a new landfill site.Items that should be addressed in the proposal include (but are not limited to): recycling, composting, C&D waste disposal, MSW, tires, batteries, white goods, freon removal/certification, televisions/computers, steel, household hazardous wastes, county/roadside cleanups, slash/stump grinding, absorption of the countys landfill equipment and landfill personnel; special waste such as non-friable asbestos and non-hazardous liquid waste, the RFP states. But how recycling might be included isnt entirely clear.Bumgarner envisions it looking something like Kremmlings system of curbside trash and recycling, but Newberry disagrees, saying envisioning anything at this point is premature.Grand County currently produces 110 tons of municipal solid waste daily.The county has at least four landfill options, Bumgarner said: expanding the existing site into other pods (which he personally opposes); acquiring a permit for the Kremmling site to expand; using federal land for a new site; or acquiring private land (which, according to commissioners, is available) for a new site. And by working with the waste disposal companies, perhaps any of these (or other) options could be worked into the grand scheme, Newberry said.The draft RFP also says the county would maintain ownership of the landfill and intends to maintain control of tipping fees to promote fairness among municipal waste management, private and mom & pop, waste haulers.But planning like this, especially for one or more government agencies, can take years, Bumgarner said. Nothings going to happen tomorrow or next year; we just want to see what are options are, he said. Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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