Click here for more articles
Recycling center closing in Bayfield
12/20/2012 By: Carole McWilliams
Sorry Bayfield and Ignacio sports fans! We ran out of room for a sports page in this week's paper edition! I'm posting all of Joel's stories on our sports page. Just click the link at left for Sports. My apologies, and we'll have sports back next week. Thank you, and have a great weekend. Good luck Cats and Wolverines!
Bayfield’s recycling center is closing at the end of this year.
Town trustees agreed to the closure at their Dec. 4 meeting.
The center has been open on Saturdays near the town maintenance shop. In his staff report for that meeting, Town Manager Chris La May reported that around 55 to 60 people show up each week, and half of them live outside town limits. There has been no charge to users.
“The Town spends roughly $15,000 between staffing the operation and transporting the containers,” La May said in his memo. “In order to continue funding the Recycle Center, it would require a 10 percent increase in garbage fees,” meaning $1 per month for town trash customers; or a $6 charge for those using the center.
La May said he asked the recycling attendant to ask users if they would be willing to pay. “No one that was asked expressed an interest in paying, because it is offered for free in Durango,” La May said.
He listed other options.
The state has provided a rebate of 50 percent of operating cost for free drop-off sites, La May said. The town could apply for this and potentially get $7,500, but the town would still have to cover the other $7,500. That could mean a smaller trash rate increase, but the town wouldn’t charge recycling customers.
The town could reduce operating hours to a half day, but the operating cost would still be around $12,000, La May said, and it might be hard to find someone willing to work for half a day. If the town reduced hours and applied for the state reimbursement, that would still leave the town to cover around $6,000.
The last option presented by La May was to close the recycling center and direct people to the county transfer station, which includes recycling, across from the gun range on County Road 223.
That was his recommendation. Trustees agreed.
The town started the recycling center to satisfy an $80,000 penalty from the State Department of Health for sewage lagoon operating permit violations going back to 2005, before the town took over responsibility from the separate Bayfield Sanitation District and built the current treatment plant.
The town has now met that obligation, La May reported.