SRP prepares for new era in recycling
SUMMIT COUNTY – Dylan Hoffman has resigned from the Summit Recycling Project (SRP) board and taken a staff position as a project coordinator in anticipation of changes the nonprofit hopes to see in the next month.
Currently, SRP has recycling drop-off sites in Breckenridge, Frisco and Dillon, and crews collect recyclables from post offices, schools and the community center. SRP accepts appliances and has a wood-waste program in place at the landfill.
But it could be so much more, Hoffman said. That’s where his new job will come into play.
SRP wants to build a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) – a recycling processing center – near the landfill west of Keystone Resort and buy new equipment that will ultimately allow crews to collect more kinds of recyclables.
SRP also wants a wood-mulcher that could extend the life of the county landfill by up to 30 years and help in wildfire mitigation efforts.
Hoffman plans to convert SRP’s vehicle fleet to biodiesel and schedule more household hazardous waste collection days.
Other potential efforts could include expanding SRP’s commercial recycling program and building a compost facility for restaurant and horse stable waste.
“Summit Recycling Project is on the cusp of big changes, and the new roles and leadership will undoubtedly only accelerate and enhance this project,” he said. “The staff doesn’t have time to devote to new programs; we’re basically just getting by. We haven’t been stagnant, but we haven’t been able to break into large diversion projects and capture a lot of the county’s waste.”
The changes he hopes to make, however, are contingent on voters approving a referred measure Nov. 4 that asks to continue an existing property tax that is due to sunset in 2004.
Voters first approved the mill levy in 1986 to build the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge, and voted to extend it to buy open space – to date, more than 10,000 acres – and build the County Commons complex south of Frisco.
If voters approve it again, the county intends to use the $1.59 million in annual revenue it generates to continue buying open space parcels and build a water storage and a community health care facility and develop a recycling processing center.
SRP officials have been busy trying to educate voters on what Referred Measure 1A is – and isn’t. It isn’t a new tax, Hoffman said, but the continuation of an existing property tax.
At the end of the 12 years, the tax would be reduced to the amount needed to operate and maintain the resources and capital improvements purchased or built using the tax revenue.
Another concern SRP officials have is that voters will get the county’s Referred Measure 1A mixed up with the state’s Referendum A, which would allow the state to sell $2 billion worth of bonds to make improvements to water storage facilities in the state.
Both the county and state referendums address water, and while locally most elected officials have come out in support of the county referendum, they are adamantly opposed to the state ballot question.
“1A is so crucial for us,” Hoffman said. “It opens up so many possibilities for us. It’s the break SRP has been waiting for. It could completely revolutionize our current operations and open doors to countless waste diversion and minimization programs that were previously mere dreams.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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