recycling center accepting more plastic

By Jim Stanford on January 7, 2014

Comments: 4 Comments

Sublette County Commissioner John Linn kneels at the perimeter of the landfill near Big Piney. Note the abundance of plastic strewn about and beyond the fence.

Plastic bags thrown in the trash end up all over the landscape, from the beaches of Hawaii to the sand dunes of the Sahara. Dramatic images from coastal areas show creatures like an otter, dolphin and turtle ensnared by plastic.

Here in the West, plastic blows across the sagebrush plains like tumbleweed and ends up in our streams and forests. To reduce this pollution as well as the cost of hauling trash, our recycling center greatly has expanded the types of plastic bags and packaging it will accept.

Bread bags, produce bags, Ziplocs, bubble wrap, dry cleaning bags and Visqueen-type sheeting are among the types of plastic residents now may recycle, along with grocery bags. Plastic wrap used to package paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and such also can be recycled. A full list can be found here.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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leaves accepted free for composting

By Jim Stanford on October 24, 2013

Comments: 1 Comment

Autumn leaves could help nurture gardens next spring. Grass, branches and shrubs also accepted.

While most trees have been bare for weeks, remarkably some cottonwoods and aspens in east Jackson are just now hitting peak color.

All that foliage on the ground leaves residents with a quandary: rake them out onto the street, where they eventually clog drains (definitely not advised); do nothing, and hope they blow into neighbors’ yards (probably not advised), or bag them to send them off to the landfill in Idaho Falls (expensive and wasteful).

Teton County Integrated Solid Waste is offering a new alternative this year: accepting yard waste for free at the trash transfer station, where it will be made into compost.

Residents may drop off trees, branches, shrubs, grass, leaves and weeds through Saturday. The station is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The offer does not apply to businesses.

Last spring, the recycling program offered free bags and collected yard waste, with the help of the town public works department, to be made into compost. It’s possible with more funding the service could be expanded next fall. With cleanup of the old landfill south of town and planning underway for an improved trash transfer and recycling center, the community has an opportunity to create a more comprehensive composting program.

While composting is not highly profitable, it’s cheaper than paying to ship grass and leaves to Idaho Falls. And for a valley known for its rocky, poor soil, the compost could help the growing local agriculture movement.


Posted under County Government, Economy, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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taking care of Teton trash pile

By Jim Stanford on October 30, 2012

Comments: 1 Comment

Of all the choices facing voters in the Nov. 6 election, none is easier than Proposition #3, the proposal to clean up and cap the old landfill south of town and begin planning a new trash transfer station.

The price tag is steep — $14.5 million in sales tax revenue — but the county has to take action, facing a deadline from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. As this video illustrates, toxic chemicals are leaching from old trash into groundwater and eventually could contaminate the Snake River.

County residents either can pay for the cleanup via sales tax — with tourists bearing their share — or property tax.

The ballot measure also would pay for planning of an improved facility on the site for trash transfer, recycling and composting. Expanding these services can help the community save money in the long run. The more waste we divert, the less we will pay for trash hauling to the landfill near Idaho Falls.

The proposal is one of three for specific-purpose excise tax, or SPET, revenue. Also up for vote are the proposal to buy the 10-acre Forest Service property on North Cache for $13.5 million, which I do not support, and Proposition #2, finishing the pathway connection between West Broadway and Wilson for $4.4 million, which I do support.


Posted under County Government, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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annual spring nuisance

By Jim Stanford on June 10, 2011

Comments: 22 Comments

Last year's unwanted waste of paper. An estimated 5 million trees are cut each year to print phone books, according to White Pages Inc.

Even when they were useful, it was annoying that Jackson Hole had so many phone books, let alone now that they have been rendered as essential as 35mm film or eight-track tapes.

Even more irritating than coming home to find your neighborhood littered with unwanted paper is receiving a package slip in your post office box, waiting in line and finding that it’s another phone book. For Idaho Falls.

San Francisco recently took the lead in banning such waste, but I suppose the market will take care of the problem sooner than later. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than a story told by a neighbor, who while being solicited for an ad in a phone book (unsuccessfully) watched with amusement as the sales rep searched for a listing on his phone.

The people who distribute these phone books on our doorsteps seem to disappear quickly and quietly. Maybe we should find where they live, dump our unwanted items and let them recycle. Like, say, an old washer or dryer.

Thanks to the person who works tirelessly to make sure paper waste is recycled at the post office, and Jackson Community Recycling for keeping a bin for phone books at each satellite station.

Update: Not sure how effective it is, but this national opt-out site allows residents to select which phone books, if any, they wish to receive.


Posted under Business, Environment, Politics

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Brew Pub: yes, we can!

By Jim Stanford on May 31, 2011

Comments: 1 Comment

Word has filtered out since last winter, and they have been on the shelves for a few weeks, but Snake River Brewing Co. is hosting a party Wednesday to celebrate its latest innovation: cans.

The pub is canning two of its signature brews: Pako’s IPA and Snake River Pale Ale. The cans are made in a factory in Worland and filled in Jackson. The pub is distributing them to vendors around town by bike.

The party is in conjunction with BikeWire, a bicycle courier network spearheaded by Andy Zimmerman of the pub’s next-door neighbor, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles. The service helps connect users needing or willing to transport goods by bike. Festivities run from 2 to 7 p.m. on the pub’s loading dock.

There were several factors behind the switch to cans, says Tim Harland, the pub’s vice president of sales and marketing.

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Posted under Business, Environment, Food, Wyoming

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