After getting push back from Teton County Commissioners for the last two months, Public Works Director Darryl Johnson said on Monday that recycling would change at the Transfer Station due to recycling markets changing. There was no commissioner vote, simply a statement of fact from Public Works via the Solid Waste Department.
Teton County recyclers will expect stricter paper and plastic sorting and RAD Curbside, the county’s contractor waste hauler, has agreed to deliver more finely sorted loads from curbside customers.
Restrictions to paper recycling include primarily white and colored groundwood-free paper, and cannot contain staples or any other type of metal nor can the paper have any plastic such as the clear plastic windows on envelopes. Yellow note pad paper is acceptable, but not the cardboard backing typically found on yellow legal pads. Sticky notes are also accepted.
Newspaper will have to be free of glossy inserts.
Commissioner Cindy Riegel asked if magazines and catalogs were being accepted and Johnson said there is a place to sort those products at the Transfer Station but the county does not currently have an end destination for the glossy publications. If the magazine bin is full, the product is landfilled. There is a sign at the Transfer Station indicating the rule.
Teton County will also sort plastics #1 and #2.
In an email to Solid Waste Supervisor Saul Varela in December, Alan Morrison of ACP Solutions, LLC in Logan, Utah, one of the buyers of Teton County’s recycling, foreshadowed the recycling restrictions.
“The markets are very narrow right now and the key is to try to keep the material super separated,” wrote Morrison. “When talking about the #1 bottles — just need to keep anything ‘other than’ the pop and water bottles out of the mix. This is critical as well as trying to store in a clean/dry area. It can have a little of the green PET — like 7-Up or Mountain Dew, but this should be minimal. Currently on a full load scenario — the PET bottles — “A” grade would be in the neighborhood of $0.045/lb. picked up.”
Morrison went on further, writing, “Market is currently flat with last month on cardboard, with some possible slight increase for January. The newsprint should have no other material in it. It can be post consumer, but needs to be clean and dry. The office paper should not have anything other than the office paper — manilla folders in smaller amounts is fine. No Metal/plastic.”
Solid Waste earns 80K from metal diversion
The Teton County Solid Waste Department reported that they earned almost $80K from scrap metal, Aluminum can and batteries waste diversion efforts. Western Metal Recycling out of Utah purchased the products from the county.
Western Metal Recycling removed 847 tons of metal from the Transfer Station at the end of 2019. Of that tonnage, 815 tons was scrap metal, 21 tons was baled aluminum cans and finally 11 tons of batteries were sold.
Teton County ended up paying $747 to recycle 22 tons of cardboard in December.