Infinite West explores fixes to recycling conundrum
January 17, 2010
As most of the residents of Grand County already know, recycling options are becoming increasingly limited. Free recycling in this county has deteriorated over the past few years to one drop-off point at the Granby Landfill, and that option will soon be lost as well. Despite dwindling budgets, the county has dedicated funds to keeping the recycling facility open, but it is due to be closed as early as this upcoming spring. Private Recycling companies Valley Recycling and Curbside Recycling are doing their best to take up the slack, but the economics of recycling make it a countywide challenge. Infinite West is a nonprofit organization that was started in response to major environmental issues that Grand County faces, tying them into similar global issues. One of the most pressing challenges Grand County faces is recycling, and Infinite West has organized a workshop to address the issues and come up with solutions. Because this affects every Grand County resident, Infinite West hopes citizens can come together to formulate a plan that will allow the county’s set of communities to act together to promote comprehensive recycling in Grand County, as well as treat the local waste stream as a resource to help fuel jobs and create a sustainable industry. “This process will involve working collaboratively to explore options for creative long-term solutions that work for Grand County, rather than simply applying ‘Band-Aids,'” said Infinite West Founder Tim Hodsdon. The Recycling Summit Workshop will have the benefit of several people in waste reduction and recycling, he said, including representatives from Summit County and Teton County, Wyo. The workshop will be facilitated by Bob Mann, co-director of Shadowcliff Lodge in Grand Lake, and Laurie Batchedler Adams. Mann has 20 years of experience in waste management, teaches sustainability workshops at Shadowcliff and is a frequent presenter and facilitator of conferences and workshops. Batchedler Adams, a Grand County homeowner, is a waste reduction and recycling industry consultant and former President of SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America). She is President of LBA Associates (a solid waste consulting firm) with many years of experience in solving waste-related challenges. The workshop will take place at YMCA/Snow Mountain Ranch with coffee and pastries provided by local volunteering organizations, and every resident, business, organization and government agency is invited to join in the discussion. The goal, according to Infinite West members, is to create a collaborative action plan to make recycling and composting opportunities available countywide, and to bring or create one or more new businesses in the county that will use recycled waste – be it beetle kill, glass, plastics, paper or metals – resulting in a stronger local economy and a cleaner natural environment. For most folks, the meetings entail a large time commitment for a weekday, and the organizers of the Recycling Summit Workshop understand this, Hodsdon said. They urge residents, businesses and organizations to consider this day as an investment in our county’s children and grandchildren.”Even a morning or afternoon spent listening and offering suggestions will be a positive force toward finding the solutions to our community’s trash challenges,” Hodsdon said.