As you may already be aware, Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District is considering a reduction in the recycling services offered in Lander. This comes at the recommendation of a county recycling committee as the county faces budget challenges.
If adopted, the change would remove glass, paper, and plastic recycling, while continuing to allow free recycling of tin, aluminum, scrap metals, and hazardous materials (paint, batteries, motor oil, antifreeze, electronic waste, etc.).
The Outdoor Council has a long history of supporting recycling in Fremont County. Our members value the ability to divert waste from the landfill, reduce the use of more virgin materials, and save money by reducing the amount of trash we take to the landfill.
According to the Solid Waste District, current recycling efforts in Fremont County result in about a 5 percent diversion from the landfill. The current cost to the county for recycling is $600,000 per year, which is 14 percent of the Solid Waste District’s annual budgeted expenses. In the eyes of the county, this results in a disproportionate ratio of expense to benefit. For reference, the cost to manage one ton of standard waste (garbage) is $80. The cost to manage one ton of recyclables is $320/ton. Fremont County residents currently pay 4 cents per pound at the landfill, which covers the cost of managing our trash. Comparatively, the full cost to the county for recycling, not including any income the county may get from the recyclables, is 16 cents per pound.
Please take a moment to answer the following questions before March 21 to help inform the board’s decision, which could be made later this month. Find the entire survey here.