Steamboat City Council orders public recycling bins for Yampa Street
Steamboat Springs — Anyone who has fruitlessly wandered around Yampa Street looking for a place to recycle a soda can or any other item soon will see their searches get easier.
The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to add public recycling bins to the busy street.
The roadway currently lacks any dedicated bins outside of private businesses.
“It’s jamming down there. We all know it,” council member Kenny Reisman said referring to the increased traffic and demand for recycling bins. “There’s trash by the day that’s piling up. There’s recycling getting thrown in the trash, as well. Let’s get a move on.”
The vote will add about six public recycling bins on the street at locations where the city already maintains trash cans.
“If we’re going to provide trash, we should provide recycling,” council member Sonja Macys said.
Some council members wanted to have the city add recycling bins beyond just Yampa Street.
Macys proposed recycling bins be added to Yampa and at all of the city’s parks.
She estimated the cost of such a plan would be $5,000 to $7,000.
The proposal did not pass, though, because half the council wanted to learn more about how much it would cost to add and maintain the new bins.
“I don’t know if this is (going to cost) $5,000 to $7,000 or $50,000,” council President Bart Kounovsky said. “I’d like to bring it back at the next meeting with some costs.”
Council members Scott Ford and Scott Myller also wanted to learn more about the costs before making a decision on adding bins beyond Yampa.
“I think we should find out how much trash containers cost and how much it costs to pick it up and compare (that total) to some of the other needs in the community too,” Myller said.
Council’s discussion about recycling was spurred by requests from community members to add recycling on Yampa Street and in city parks.
Recycling advocates praised the council’s decision to add recycling bins.
“I think it’s a small price to pay for that clean image and that first impression that we have,” Yampa Valley Sustainability Council programs director Andy Kennedy said. “Yampa Street is at a tipping point. … I think more trash cans are definitely needed. I think If a funding mechanism is needed, maybe it’s time to revisit the plastic bag fee to handle downtown waste removal because I think that’s a great way and that’s how some other municipalities handle it.”
The council asked city staff to bring back on Aug. 5 cost estimates for adding recycling at all the city parks where it is not currently being offered.
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