Decision on Carbondale waste-transfer station on hold
September 18, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County commissioners, following a seven-hour meeting Monday, continued until mid-November a public hearing to consider a highly controversial proposal for a solid-waste-transfer and recycling-processing facility near Carbondale.
In the meantime, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will be asked to do a technical review of the facility, which is being proposed by local waste hauler Mountain Rolloffs Inc.
The transfer facility would be located at the former Mid-Continent Resources coal loadout on County Road 100 (Catherine Store Road) two miles east of Carbondale.
The 35-acre site is owned by a group of local investors known as IRMW II LLC. It has continued to be used for a range of light industrial purposes since the coal mines closed in the early 1990s.
Mountain Rolloffs representatives agreed to the Health Department review at Monday’s hearing.
They also will use the extra time to evaluate whether a haul route taking truck traffic directly to Highway 82 via the county road, rather than through the town of Carbondale as initially proposed, would be feasible.
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Doing so would likely require that Mountain Rolloffs partner with the county to pay for the replacement of the Catherine Store Bridge over the Roaring Fork River with a new bridge that could better accommodate semi trucks.
Both the Carbondale Board of Trustees and the Roaring Fork school board have expressed concerns over the haul route proposed in Mountain Rolloffs’ application using Snowmass Drive and Highway 133 through town. Snowmass Drive passes by an elementary and middle school.
Mountain Rolloffs general manager Don Van Devander explained that the transfer facility would take solid waste from trash-collection trucks. After it is rid of items that cannot be put in landfills, such as batteries and tires, the trash will be loaded onto larger semi trucks to be taken to area landfills.
Between three and five semi-truck trips per day to and from the facility are anticipated to start. That will grow to as many as 10 as the operation grows.
Trash will not be kept on the site for more than 24 hours, Van Devander said.
“This is not a landfill or dump, and it can’t be turned into one,” he said.
Recyclable material and construction waste, including concrete, wood and steel, also will be collected and sorted on site and then bundled and hauled away.
“More than 50 percent of construction waste can be removed from the waste stream,” Van Devander said. “We anticipate being able to divert 500 tons of construction debris from local landfills every year.”
The commissioners’ decision to continue the hearing came after more than four hours of public comments from about a third of the more than 150 people who packed the commissioners’ hearing room and spilled into the hallway.
Neighbors in the area, as well as many Carbondale residents, have vigorously opposed the plans. They cite concerns ranging from increased heavy-truck traffic and conflicts with the Rio Grande Trail, which runs next to the site, to pollution and impacts on Carbondale’s tourism base.
“If you approve this, you will risk the culture in Carbondale that people have worked hard for many years to create,” said area resident Ron Speaker.
Another local resident, Ron Lloyd, added, “You don’t put a garbage-processing plant next to a town that is focused on major recreation for its economic base.”