Construction & Demolition refuse and the new waste management program
Below is a report from Ginny Newsom of Teton Valley Community Recycling on the land fill and solid waste management, which has been one of the most pressing development/land use issues over the last year.
On Monday March 19th, the Board of County Commissioners held an open meeting to listen to concerns about compliance with construction and demolition (C&D) refuse in the county. Contractors are the most affected by what appear to be new regulations. Commissioners pointed out that in fact the regulations are not new and have been in place for nearly 10 years. The confusion is arising now because our landfill has never actually been in compliance, one of the reasons it is now being shut down. All new operations including the new C&D pit must be in compliance or it too will be shut down (as it was on day two of its operation).
Representatives from Teton Springs Builders and Voorhees Sanitation among others were present to express their willingness to comply but also their frustration at the difficulties this presents. Most mentioned were that some regulations did not make sense to them and that they cannot control other people throwing household garbage into the dumpsters. Some said the cost of monitoring their dumpsters is not worth it and they would just as soon pay higher fees to not have to separate. It was noted that Jackson can comply because they have Terra Firma Organics managing their c & d and Jackson Recycling available. Everyone wanted to comply and the commissioners said they would try to get clarification from the DEQ and District 7 Health regarding the logic behind the rules. Bill Reid suggested fencing off dumpsters at construction sites as one solution and Commissioner Young noted that these are federal regulations in effect all over the country and therefore hundreds of thousands of communities are achieving compliance in similar circumstances.
Public comments by Bill Reid, John Pinardi, and Larry Williamson similarly noted that is the beauty of our local environment that brings people here and they expect to find recycling when they get here. The resorts have to have recycling – it is a key expectation of their guests, so all the three men said they feel it is important for the county to get recycling up and running as soon as possible. Ginny Newsom of Teton Valley Community Recycling offered to provide assistance with compliance methods and suggested TVCR work with the county to provide an educational forum as soon as the new system is in place to help the public understand the rules and opportunities of the a well managed waste system.
The county commissioners will make a final decision in their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 26th at 10am regarding who they will hire to transition the county to a new waste management program and run the C&D operation.