The public drop-off recycling center in Willits will close for good at the end of January. Now Basalt staff and Trustees are considering alternative options. KDNK's Lucas Turner has the story.
In past years Waste Management operated the drop-off recycling location with the help of a $60,000 annual subsidy -- split between the Town of Basalt and Pitkin County.
In December of 2019, Pitkin County announced it would no longer contribute to funding the site as it transitioned to curbside recycling pickup.
While Basalt sought alternative funding solutions, including approaching Eagle County, Waste Management announced it would need a $120,000 annual subsidy to operate the site moving forward.
On Tuesday Basalt Town Manager Ryan Mahoney outlined why operating the site is no longer economically feasible. He says the cost of recycling is going up because of broader geopolitical issues.
Mahoney says currently there is only a viable market for plastics 1 and 2, while plastics 3 through 7 ends up not being recycled, or stored in hopes that those commodities will eventually come back. He also spoke about issues with glass recycling.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Basalt town council and staff also discussed alternatives to decrease the amount of waste going to the landfill, including experimental events focused on recycling electronics and other hazardous waste, composting initiatives, ongoing workshops to provide education on recycling options, and other outreach efforts.
You can listen to Basalt council and staff discuss the issue in full on Youtube.