Summit County’s new recycling center at landfill looking green |

Summit County’s new recycling center at landfill looking green

SUMMIT COUNTY – The county’s new recycling facility planned for the landfill will be constructed to the highest of green building standards.County commissioners on Monday gave the go-ahead to the design and construction team to seek what is known as LEED certification for the new garage and material recovery facility (MRF) at the landfill.The new recycling processing center itself is a county-government venture into improved recycling processing to increase diversion of glass, metals, paper and other commodities from burial in the landfill.”We’re really excited about it for the county,” said Carly Wier, executive director of the Summit Recycling Project (SRP). “If there’s any place to do (LEED certification), a recycling center is it.”Taxpayers approved funding when they passed Measure 1A in 2003, a continuation of a small mill levy for “legacy” projects. Other items on the list include a new Community Care Clinic, open space purchases and water storage.SRP leaders came up with the initial concept to make the new facilities, which will be integral parts of its recycling efforts, “green.” Of eight proposals, county and recycling officials selected the team of TCD Construction and Matt Stais Architects to carry out the project’s vision. Stais was already familiar with the LEED certification process.”The county could point to this project to show others how they can be more energy efficient in their buildings,” Stais said.Green design or sustainability is difficult to define, but Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards are one way to do so by establishing a common standard of measurement.According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED was created to:– Define “green building” through a common standard of measurement; — Promote integrated, whole-building design practices; — Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry; — Stimulate green competition; — Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits; and — Transform the building market. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.Sixty-nine points are available in the rating system; however, only 26 are required for basic certification.According to Stais, the cost for LEED is an initial $1,000 to $2,000, with an additional $20,000 for a LEED commissioning agent. The expert guidance from the LEED staff and commissioning agent could ultimately save money in the long run. “We will likely save on operating costs with this certification,” said Thad Noll, assistant county manager.The MRF and garage would be the first buildings in Summit County to receive LEED certification.”This might be the one project where we can get our feet wet with LEED to use it for other buildings,” said Tom Auldridge, the county’s building and grounds director.Wier said the groundbreaking for the two new buildings is expected in April 2005 with building completion to be in October 2005. Once construction is complete, the LEED assessment will take place.Next year, the county and SRP will merge recycling operations under the county’s umbrella. SRP will remain as an educational organization promoting recycling and other energy efficient projects in the county. Jennifer Huffman can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at

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