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Summit County Council To Hear Update On Solid Waste Master Plan

  The Summit County Council will again be talking trash in their regular meeting Wednesday. They will get an update on their Solid Waste Master Plan.

The council, meeting at the Richins Services Building, will talk about Solid Waste in a work session at about 2:15. County Manager Tom Fisher said they set a Master Plan earlier this year, and directed the staff to come back with an Action Plan.

Among the items is recycling for commercial cardboard, which Fisher said can have an important impact on the landfill.

"Tim Loveday our landfill manager has certainly pushed that if we can take on commercial recycling of cardboard and help that system along its probably the biggest impact we can have towards reducing the amount of stuff that comes into our landfill each year. That seems to be the biggest item that could be reduced and it’s also greenhouse gas producing which has the added negative benefit. That is one of the things that we are promoting for 2019. It will require quite a planning effort to do because right now we need to work with a lot of our smaller businesses. A lot of our bigger businesses already do this because they can make money on it.”

They are also looking at composting.

"We’ve got a couple of commercial operations in the county that are trying to expand what they do. I know that both the Park City Leadership group as well as when we were going through our Master Plan we’re talking to these businesses about how they’re already working with, mostly restaurants, in order to do composting. One for example, I just signed up for household composting where they come and pick it up each week. There is a lot of systems available and we have to figure out what’s the sweet spot between private business and government here in promoting this type of activity.”

California has carried out composting for a couple of decades. Fisher discussed why areas like Summit County haven't caught up.

"In more population dense areas, it’s a lot easier because you have the volume in order to do composting. I think the desire has always been here we’ve had several leadership groups work on this issue and promote household composting. One of the issues you have when you’ve got a lot of condo projects and tourism, it doesn’t work as well with those households or those housing products. So, we’ve got to come up with something a little different in order to make that work in Summit County”

Another element of the plan is a "recycling transfer station." Fisher said they haven't settled on a location yet, but they're getting close.

"The whole idea of recycling transfer is that—right now we’ve got a lot of contamination again because of kind of the population we’re dealing with, a high tourism population that do it different ways where they come from. One of the ways that we can really affect that is by sorting the recycling right here in Summit County and then making sure that we reduce the trips back and forth by loading that up on bigger trucks and moving it to where it needs to go. We’re identifying properties out on the 40 corridor right now. It kind of is coupled with some need by Recycle Utah to find a new facility so there’s a lot of factors involved with that property but I think we’re getting closer. You’re probably going to hear from us a lot more about that in the next few months.”

Park City Municipal needs Recycle Utah to move from its long-time location on Woodbine Way. Fisher said the move will likely take place within a year.

"We’ve heard the same thing from Park City. It’s our desire to continue that partnership in order to reduce the waste going into our landfill overall over time. That’s our interest, the cities interest is that they need to use that property for their arts and culture district. I think there’s a partnership evolving here that will see Recycle Utah relocate to a place that they can probably expand what they do or reformat what they do to help the overall county waste stream and free up that property for Park City.”

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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