Contamination Reduction Bins – $3,450
One of the Community Foundation’s strategic pillars is to invest. Another is to empower. Through a community partnership with Teton Valley Community Recycling, we are seeking to invest our resources back into the community and empower our residents to make a positive environmental impact on our ecosystem. This spring, we awarded TVCR with a grant for $3,450 to purchase eight used contamination reduction bins in an effort to reduce adverse environmental impacts that can result from improper recycling techniques.
Recycling has become both a priority and a community value in Teton Valley. With the growing popularity of recycling, however, and increased loads of material to recycle, come more problems. One major issue is that of contamination. Many recyclers bring items with them to the free community recycling site at Teton Valley Transfer Station that cannot be recycled, contaminating bins which hold bales that could otherwise be sold.
Teton Valley Community Recycling’s mission is to develop ethical environmentally and financially sound waste reduction solutions for our community. By encouraging residents to deposit non-recyclable items such as plastic trash bags, sharp pieces of metal left on the ground, “grayboard” items such as cereal boxes and six-pack holders, and plastic food containers into clearly marked, separate receptacles, transfer station staff can conserve valuable manpower by not hand sorting the bins to remove these items. Efforts spent de-contaminating the bins can instead be focused on expanding recycling capacity and researching evolving methods for waste diversion. Additionally, materials recycled are more marketable to buyers when they are shipped on from the station, making it a win-win for our community and for the global marketplace.
Teton Valley Community Recycling wants recycling to be easy and rewarding. The nonprofit understands that people “want” to recycle everything, and strives to educate the public in the most cost-effective way regarding what can actually be recycled.
Through this investment in community resources and education, we feel that we can empower our residents to continue the positive trend toward waste reduction and diversion. In the 2014 Waste to Resources Plan, Teton County set a goal to exceed the national average, and divert or recycle 37% of its waste by the year 2020. Currently, waste is being diverted at approximately 31%. We are confident this project will support the continued effort to reach that overarching goal.