Mill levy would extend landfill life |

Mill levy would extend landfill life

In response to Darrel Parker’s Sept. 12 letter regarding the mill levy extension on the Nov. 4 ballot, I am happy to share some information regarding specific recycling needs that could potentially be funded.

Improved recycling facilities are needed in Summit County, and a portion of this mill levy would fund them.

Two specific reasons lie behind this need.

First, we are currently only diverting about 8 percent of the waste stream through recycling and waste diversion.

This is a concern for every citizen of Summit County because the current landfill in Summit County is essentially the last landfill that will ever be constructed here.

No one wants a landfill near his or her neighborhood, river basin or ski slope.

It only makes sense from a practical and financial standpoint to extend the life of the current landfill as long as possible – and greater recycling is a logical and effective way to do it.

With current operational constraints, Summit Recycling Project (SRP) can’t do any more than it is currently does. SRP can’t seek out more materials or add new commodities to collection programs.

Much of the material collected is shipped loose and some is handled five times before it leaves Summit County.

The current operational setup is inefficient and needs to be improved if waste-diversion rates are to be increased.

This is the bottom line and the second reason the mill levy is needed.

With the purchase of a baler, sorting line (for co-mingled materials), a wood grinder and perhaps even curbside recycling trucks, Summit County could be diverting 30 percent or more of its waste stream, which could add between 13 or 30 years to the life of the landfill.

Environmental reasons also call for a better recycling program. Landfills are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases.

Recycling conserves energy and produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing materials from raw resources.

Recycling and three other needs are identified for funding by the mill levy extension. The others are a new Community Care Clinic, parks and water storage.

These needs have been clearly articulated by the community.

A vote for the mill levy extension is a vote for Summit County’s future – and it is a future that includes sound resource management, health care for all citizens, and critical local water storage projects.

Carly Wier is executive director of the SRP.

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