Recycling upgrades go over budget | AspenTimes.com

Recycling upgrades go over budget

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Improvements to recycling facilities at the Pitkin County landfill will go $225,000 over the $500,000 that was budgeted for the upgrades. County commissioners informally OK’d spending the additional money Tuesday.

With Commissioner Rachel Richards absent, commissioners directed Chris Hoofnagle, solid waste manager, to prepare a supplemental budget request for their formal approval.

Work is already under way on improvements to the materials recovery facility at the landfill. The contractor for the project has already submitted the winning bid for what would be Phase 2 of the project, Hoofnagle said.

Initially, the $500,000 budget was expected to cover all of the work, but when it became apparent that it would not, the project was split into two phases, and the first phase has commenced.

The materials recovery center building is being retrofitted with additional steel to shore up the frame of the structure; heating, insulation and ventilation also are being installed.

The second phase will include grading and paving areas used by the recycling operation that are currently unpaved, increasing loading dock space and relocating the hazardous household waste facility.

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Keeping the contractor who is already at work at the landfill on the site to complete Phase 2 is likely cheaper than having it done later, Hoofnagle suggested. The additional cost will come from the landfill’s unspent fund balance.

“I support it. It just makes sense to keep this project moving along,” said Commissioner George Newman.

On a related note, Newman suggested it is time for commissioners to once again discuss the landfill’s recycling program, which operates at a financial loss. It is a topic they have discussed before.

In addition to a drop-off site at the landfill, the county operates drop-off centers in Aspen and Basalt, and sends two trucks to Redstone twice a month to pick up recyclable materials. The municipalities don’t help fund the expense of operating the centers, and they are open to use by people who reside outside of the county’s borders.

In Redstone for example, residents of Marble (in Gunnison County) take advantage of the recycling pick-up, Hoofnagle noted.

“At the current time, we’re not doing anything to deter that,” he said.

janet@aspentimes.com