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Frisco interested in recycling site

FRISCO – Summit Recycling Project employees are not the only ones rooting for the new processing facility at the county landfill. Frisco has its own interest in seeing the facility built.

For years, Frisco officials have explored alternative sites for the Frisco recycling drop-off center. The center currently is located just off of Summit Boulevard, on 8th Avenue, between the Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue station and Frisco Boardwalk shopping center.

“In our mind, it’s a good site,” said Summit Recycling Project (SRP) Executive Director Carly Wier. “It’s not in the middle of a neighborhood. It’s not in the middle of downtown. (But) if we could find a place where we could pave it and build a permanent structure, we’d be very happy.”



The town has not agreed to let the nonprofit use its current site for a permanent structure. In fact, when SRP last renewed its lease, the town decreased the length of the lease from five to two years, Mayor Bob Moscatelli said.

The current lease terminates at the end of summer 2003.



Though town officials have not said they won’t renew the lease, Moscatelli said the town is waiting to see how plans for SRP’s materials recovery facility (MRF) proceed before making any decisions. The town shortened the SRP lease to help hasten planning for a MRF.

“Obviously, that’s a very valuable piece of property that the recycling center occupies,” he said. “It’s something we’d like at some point, in the reasonably near future, so that we can look at it as a possible site for an affordable housing project of some sort. Right now, we’re waiting for … (SRP) to successfully establish that MRF over at the landfill.”

A MRF at the landfill would not rid Frisco of a recycling presence. A drop-off site would still be needed.

Other sites the town has considered for the drop-off center include the County Commons and the Dillon Dam Road.

“From almost the day we received the property … Frisco had asked … if they could move the recycling center to the County Commons,” County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom said, noting that commissioners didn’t find Frisco’s reasons too compelling.

“Basically, they didn’t like the way the recycling center looked,” he said. “It was unkempt and an eyesore, and they wanted to move it. So we weren’t too interested in that.”

Additionally, commissioners have said the current site is more convenient to Frisco residents, Lindstrom said.

The town considered the Dam Road as a possible site, in conjunction with an attainable housing project, said Frisco assistant town manager Theresa Casey, but those have been put on hold for the time being.

Frisco officials are awaiting the outcome of not only the MRF before proceeding, but also the results of the town’s economic study, Casey said.

Though town officials are interested in eventually regaining the property on which the Frisco Recycling Center lies, Moscatelli and Casey stressed the town supports the nonprofit.

“I’m very pleased with the progress they’ve made at the existing facility,” Moscatelli said. “It was not an attractive place. It’s looking an awful lot better than it did.”

Once the MRF is built, the drop-off site will look even better, Wier said, because SRP will be able to relocate the more unattractive items, such as appliances, and vehicles to the main facility.

“We are as excited as the town of Frisco to pare down and clean up,” she said.

Wier said that if the town decides to move the drop-off center, she hopes town officials will find SRP an alternate site.

“We could never afford to purchase land in Frisco, or anywhere else in Summit County,” she said. “I think the town council and the mayor know how much Frisco residents and businesses appreciate the convenience of the drop-off center.”

The Breckenridge recycling center has an ideal site, both Wier and Lindstrom agreed, because it is in an industrial area on County Road 450 at French Creek.

“It’s really difficult when you’re talking about Frisco because … the majority of the town is residential or low-

density commercial,” Lindstrom said, adding the site might be better suited further north on Summit Boulevard, behind 7-Eleven, for example.

Wier agreed.

“Ideally, I think we should be behind Wal-Mart,” she said.

Walking the talk

SUMMIT COUNTY – Local recycling guru Carly Wier is excited about the prospect of building a materials recovery facility at the landfill – and not just because of what it will do for the Summit Recycling Project.

Wier, Summit Recycling Project (SRP) executive director, said she and organization representatives are hoping the new facility will be a “green” building – built out of bales of paperboard and, perhaps, even plastic bottles.

Cost estimates are still being determined.

“It’s such a fun thing that the building would be made out of material that would otherwise be thrown in the landfill,” Wier said.

Not only would building a materials recovery facility (MRF) at the landfill help the nonprofit recycling organization streamline its operations, but it also would allow SRP to remove the middleman from its operations, Wier said.

Currently, the nonprofit sends its recyclable materials to Denver, where they are rebaled and sent to a processing mill, she said.

The MRF would allow SRP to bale its own materials at the facility and send them directly to the processing mill, Wier said, which would increase SRP’s return for materials.

“We would be our own broker,” she said. “We would market ourselves to mills. (The MRF) will let us become more efficient … (and) generate more self-sustaining revenues.”

If SRP is successful in its hopes to build a green building at the landfill, the MRF may be the first of its kind in the nation, she said.

The organization plans to enlist the help of green builder Doug Eichelberger, who built a house in Fraser out of 35 tons of cardboard and 17 tons of plastic from a local recycling plant.

“(Eichelberger) really wants to have a showcase building for this technology,” Wier said. “We’re going to take it a step further – we’re going to have solar and maybe even wind power for non-industrial uses” such as lights, fans and employee break rooms.

They also are exploring options for using a biodeisel generator at the MRF.

“Making it a green building – and pushing the envelope, testing new technology – makes it more appealing to funding,” Wier said.

SRP officials are seeking funding “aggressively” for the facility, which they hope to begin constructing in the spring, she said.

If things go as planned, the new MRF will be a 5,000-square-foot building with a conveyor, a baler and a loading dock. SRP employees would transport recyclable materials from the various county drop-off sites to the MRF, where they would be separated and prepared for the mills.

“There is some urgency for building the MRF,” Wier said, adding that the volume of materials the SRP is processing has increased by about 10 percent each month over the last year.

Those volumes are exceeding the organization’s capacity, she said.

“Oddly enough, (this) is an anomaly for recycling in the rest of the nation,” Wier said. “At the end of the year, I think we’ll see an overall 15 to 20 percent increase over last year.

The 5,000-square-foot building is part of the facility’s first phase. A second phase, which SRP officials hope to begin five years from now, would involve expanding the building to 7,000-9,000 square feet and installing a semi-automated sort line.

For now, however, Wier is focusing on phase one – excited about the prospect of making the organization’s new facility an example of its mission.

– Lu Snyder


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