Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about waste, but David Hudacsko of RAD Curbside and Saul Varela, Teton County Solid Waste Manager, think about it every day. Both of them are committed to diverting waste from the landfill through creative means. One area both have identified as “low hanging fruit” is construction and demolition waste (C&D). Construction and demolition waste accounts for ~25% of the waste managed at the Teton County Transfer Station. Sorting & reducing those materials would make the biggest overall dent in the amount of waste Teton County sends to the landfill.
To help incentivize C&D sorting behavior, Teton Valley Community Recycling (TVCR) applied for and was awarded a $25,000 Idaho DEQ grant. With this grant, TVCR can offer subsidized trash cans, signs, and cash reimbursements for clean sorted loads. Anyone building or remodeling in Teton County can qualify for these subsidies.
There are current and continued savings by sorting as well. The County already heavily incentivizes the sorting of C&D waste. If you don’t sort the waste from your remodel or new construction, it will cost you $210 per ton. But if you do take the time to sort out clean lumber, drywall, metal, and other materials (see below), it will cost you $15 per ton – almost a $200 difference!
Is it worth the effort? You bet it is! Several RAD customers have saved over $7500 in tipping and service fees on their jobsite sorting waste materials! Some contractors have saved thousands of dollars on their projects through diligent sorting and keeping separate containers for different materials AND paying special attention to keep trash out! If you sort but there are contaminants like lunch waste or household trash in the load, the whole load will be charged at $210 per ton because the Construction and Demolition pile at the Transfer Station is highly regulated by the state DEQ in efforts to keep contaminants out of the water table. The County would be liable for very costly remediation if that happens. Therefore, loads with any level of contamination will be trucked to the Circular Butte landfill in Mud Lake, 90 miles away.
What happens to the sorted waste materials? Wood and old building materials are available to other builders every Friday through the County’s salvage program. Metal that isn’t salvaged is sold to the highest bidder at the end of the year and recycled as scrap metal along with tin cans. Wood that hasn’t been reused gets chipped and used as a carbon source for the County’s animal composting program. The County has a list of what exactly is sorted waste (see sidebar) both on their website and at the Transfer Station entrance. The scale house staff are also happy to answer your questions.
Commercial construction companies will be happy to know that Hudascko of RAD Curbside has a variety of bins to conserve jobsite space with 8- and 20-cubic yard dumpsters and has designed proto-type split 20-yard dumpster to enable sorting and only one haul charge. In addition, he has found that having large signage on dumpsters and garbage cans conveniently placed encourages workers and subcontractors to use them instead of contaminating the sorted loads.
Teton Valley Community Recycling (along with RAD and the County) encourage remodelers and builders to give sorting a try. You’ll find it doesn’t take much effort – and it can save you asignificant amount of money. To find out more, please attend the Town Hall Meeting on Monday Feb 25 at 6 pm at the Commissioner’s Chambers in the County Courthouse. More information is also available at tetonrecycling.org.
Sorted Items Include:
Clean Wood Pallets
Drywall (with nothing attached)
Xmas Trees – No Faux
The following are considered Unsorted and will be charged at the $210 per ton and may be inspected before disposal:
Asphalt Shingles & Asphalt/Tar Paper
Bituthene – Roofing Underlayment
Boats – nonmetal or non-wood
Camper Shells – Non-metal
Carpet & Carpet Pad
Cedar Shingles mixed with other roof Materials
Drywall Compound Boxes/Containers
Engineered Flooring with padding/Insulation
Hot Tubs & Hot Tub Covers/Lids
Insulation – All Types
Lumber Wrap Tarps
Melamine Building Materials
Pallets/Crates with other materials attached
Plumbing Fixtures – non-porcelain/non-metal
Pressure Treated Lumber
PVC Piping or any plastic piping
Shop Cleanups that are unsorted products