North Routt residents embrace community recycling program
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s Note: This article has been changed to reflect the correct cost of the recycling program, which is $25 for six months.
North Routt County resident Kelly Subr recognized there was something amiss in her community.
At the North Routt Community Charter School, her two children and their classmates were being taught how to take care of the environment. Their school was built to be green with solar panels and lumber from beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees. In addition to traditional recycling, leftover food is saved for compost and scraps are set aside for the children to feed their chickens at home.
When the kids left school, recycling options used to be limited at home. If parents wanted to, they would have to haul their recycling to Steamboat Springs.
“It seemed like we should have our community reflect what kids are learning at the school,” Subr said.
Subr helped spearhead a community recycling program that launched in July. There now are two recycling dumpsters located at The Clark Store. Residents can sign up for the program at a cost of $25 for six months and are given the combination to locks placed on the dumpsters, allowing them unlimited recycling.
Subr said Yampa Valley Recycles Administrator Emilie Rogers helped the community negotiate a good rate with Waste Management to haul the recycling away every other week.
Subr said 52 people have signed up for the program.
On Friday, the dumpsters were clean with no trash left beside them.
“So far, we’ve had great luck,” Subr said. “Everyone’s been very respectful and responsible.”
The students at the school on Missy Beirne’s green team have made signs for the dumpsters that let people know how to recycle correctly.
The community recycling program now reinforces what the students are learning in school.
“The goal of the green team is to carry out the theme of how we got this school built,” Beirne said. “We promote non-waste. Every room has a recycling bin.”
Subr said she hopes to eventually expand the program farther north to the Hahn’s Peak area.
“You need to have the school and the community on the same page,” Subr said. “It helps reinforce these lessons that kids are going to have to learn.”
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