Recycling event hits Steamboat |

Recycling event hits Steamboat

Summit brings slew of speakers, exhibitors to Sheraton today and Tuesday

Mike Lawrence

— Amid the numerous recycling-related panels about everything from zero waste to commodities markets scheduled today and Tuesday at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, the speaker that local participants mention most excitedly is Jim Evanoff.

Evanoff is an environmental protection specialist at Yellowstone National Park. He'll give a lunchtime keynote presentation today at the Colorado Association for Recycling's 2010 Summit for Recycling at the Sheraton. The three-day recycling summit began with a reception Sunday night and continues today and Tuesday with speakers, exhibits, awards, a silent auction and tours of sustainability efforts at Steamboat Ski Area and Twin Enviro Services' Milner Landfill.

Marjorie Griek, executive director of CAFR, said about 240 attendees and 34 exhibitors have signed up for the summit so far. Yampa Valley Recycles, the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and officials with the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County played roles in bringing CAFR's annual summit to Steamboat.

Angela Ashby, chairwoman of the Sustainability Council's board of directors, said she's excited to hear Evanoff talk about environmental efforts at the world-famous national park.

"He's kind of the guru with innovation with recycling and reuse up at Yellowstone," Ashby said. "He's kind of been the model for national parks."

Heather Savalox, senior environmental health specialist for Routt County, added that Evanoff is an inspiration for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s Liz Wahl, who met him at a former sustainability training and will be honored at the summit as CAFR's 2010 Recycler of the Year. Wahl is food and beverage director for Ski Corp.

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Savalox said hearing Eva­noff describe the challenges of sustainability at the remote Yellowstone park is very motivating for local efforts.

"They do amazing things at Yellowstone," she said. "It just kind of blows you away."

Griek said a key goal of the summit is the exchange of new ideas, such as product stewardship. That developing concept involves producers and manufacturers taking responsibility for their product at the end of its useful life.

Requiring manufacturers to pay costs of collection or disposal increases incentives for creating more recyclable, less toxic products, Griek said. She said that while some industries, particularly pharmaceuticals, have raised significant opposition to the idea, 20 to 30 states have passed forms of product stewardship legislation.

"How that happens looks very different in many places," Griek said. "There are not a lot of companies that are volunteering to take this on, but there are certainly some companies that are taking it on because of legislation."

Griek said Colorado does not have product stewardship laws, but legislation could be proposed in 2011.

Griek said she hopes that some "cross-pollination" occ­urs with other environmentally themed goings-on at the Sheraton this week.

Northern Colorado Clean Cities, in coinciding events not affiliated with the summit, is presenting workshops about hybrid vehicles and petroleum reduction, along with a free, public expo showcasing electric and hybrid cars from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday outside the Sheraton.

Registration for the summit is available at the Sheraton or online at Griek said that while the registration cost might price out curious members of the general public, the summit attracts a wide range of government officials, educators, nonprofit groups and more.

"If you have a business and you want to learn more about your recycling and waste diversion opportunities, then it really makes sense," she said about attending.

Ashby said she hopes to glean as much locally applicable knowledge as she can from the summit.

"I think it will raise a lot of awareness and help the community as a whole," Ashby said. "We've got the zero waste initiative in full swing, and any way we can learn to not reinvent the wheel is certainly better — that's my main goal, is to observe what works in communities that are isolated like ours.”

If you go

What: Colorado Association for Recycling’s 2010 Summit for Recycling

When: A welcome reception was Sunday evening; speakers, exhibitors and more today and Tuesday

Where: Sheraton Steamboat Resort

Cost: CAFR members: $355 for two-day registration, $195 for one day

Nonmembers: $415 for two-day registration, $225 for one day

Keynote speakers: Jim Evanoff, environmental protection specialist for Yellowstone National Park, 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today, “Sustaining Yellowstone National Park: A 138-Year Journey;” Jerry Powell, Resource Recycling, 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, thoughts on the state of recycling in 2010 and beyond.


See the full agenda, registration information and more online at

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