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County Council Hears About Rail Trail, Composting During Public Comment Period

Rail Trail State Park Website

The Public Comment period before the Summit County Council on Wednesday brought out a couple of different topics.

The council heard from South Summit resident Jan Perkins, who asked them to pursue the idea of a Summer Heritage Byway, proposed earlier this year by Development Director Pat Putt.

Council member Roger Armstrong said the underlying idea is that we don't always notice the county's many historical treasures. He noted Putt's interest was sparked by the Rail Trail.

“Pat rides his bike to work many days during the year and he uses the rail trail to get from the basin down to Coalville. He’s met a lot of people and making that trip at a bicycle’s pace you see a lot of things and you learn a lot of things about the county. It was Pat’s idea that there are valuable sites and resources out there that we should call attention to and that can be yet another amenity for the county. That actually recognizes and honors our heritage, whether it’s agriculture or mining or whatever.”

He said that the Byway concept isn't just about the Rail Trail.

“Every time I drive by something that reminds me that we had a Pony Express route going through part of the county or we’ve got a big railroad history the anniversary of the Golden Spike is coming up soon. We have a lot of things in this county that are special.”

On another topic, the council was visited by two members from this year's Park City Leadership class, whose project is studying ways to deal with organic waste.

Armstrong said it's encouraging to hear that some private entities are disposing of the material.

“What I understand from talking to Sarah Hall is that a number of restaurants in town have actually embraced the concept and are recycling their green organic waste. The green foods potatoes, carrots, things like that but the proteins, the meats, can’t be recycled in the same way. That requires probably some kind of hauling. The question is do we invest in a digestor? There’s an organization down in Salt Lake or Morgan county, I can’t remember where they are, that actually has a digestor that they’re putting into use. There have been some companies here in Park City that have offered to pick up and haul and I think some of that is ongoing.”

Organic food or yard waste can impact the county landfill, though it isn't necessarily the biggest factor.

“Tim mentioned that when we look at this from the prospective of what’s happening to our landfill? Which is expensive because opening new landfills, closing them are million dollar plus projects to do. Acquiring the land alone is extraordinarily expensive. We want to preserve as much of our landfill as we can. This organic kind of waste packs down fairly compactly so it can actually be placed in the landfill and has somewhat less of an impact than other kinds of waste. It does contribute to methane so there are reasons to recycle it but in terms of where it ranks overall on our solid waste program I think we have to take a look at that and look at what the expenses are.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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