City eyes eco-friendly recycle center |

City eyes eco-friendly recycle center

Abigail Eagye

Aspen City Council members on Monday listened to financial details of a proposed recycling center adjacent the Aspen Skate Park on Rio Grande Place.

Representatives of the recycling center’s Convenience and Welfare Of The Public task force gave council estimates for the plan during Monday’s work session; a public hearing on the project is scheduled for next week.

Sarah Laverty, with the city’s environmental health department, briefed council on the potential costs of the preferred plan for the center, which calls for two small buildings rather than one larger building. The plan allows for lowering the buildings below street level to help blend in to the existing landscape. Other highlights of the plan include a curved “green” roof, glass-crete in lieu of concrete and, potentially, a gate to help minimize illegal dumping.

Council members Rachel Richards, Torre and Mayor Helen Klanderud were pleased with the plan’s environmentally friendly design. Councilmen J.E. DeVilbiss and Jack Johnson were not in attendance.

Concern focused on whether or not to include a snowmelt mechanism, which would be costly and isn’t in line with the city’s Canary Initiative. Snowmelt mechanisms contribute to unwanted greenhouse gases, something the city would like to avoid. Plus, a snowmelt system could cost as much as $70,000. An alternative to installing a compete system would be to lay only the piping now, leaving the option open to build a heat-generating source later. That way, if plowing and shoveling at the recycling center proved inadequate, the city wouldn’t have to tear up the concrete to install a snowmelt system.

The glass-crete paving option would be more expensive than standard asphalt, but council members seemed pleased with the environmental message it sends.

“I like the idea of glass-creting even if it is more expensive, because it does make a point about using recycled materials,” Klanderud said. Glass-crete is a mixture of glass and asphalt.

Torre had reservations about some parts of the plan but was pleased with the design overall.

“I think this is about the best form of compromise … that could come from this,” he said. “This addressed almost everything going on to a T.”

The COWOP’s presentation was solely for the purpose of giving potential financial figures to the council in preparation for Monday’s public hearing; council will not act on the information before then. That meeting begins at 5 p.m. Monday, June 26, at City Hall.

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