From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 12 - March 22, 2007
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Citizens ask commission to remove recycling board

by Julia Stuble

On Tuesday, the Sublette County Commissioners faced a barrage of citizens angry about the Recycling Center, but gave them the same answer they’ve given before. “You don’t come to us without first going to the board that has the authority to act,” Bill Cramer told the group, explaining that they would have to go to the Sublette Citizens for Recycling Board with their concerns.

The assembled group of recyclers had brought along a petition, with over 170 signatures on it, supporting the removal of all recycling board members, with the exception of Sally Mackey.

Reasons given for these removals included the “failure of this board and their employees to work with the community to keep the recycling center operational” and “the failure to disclose to the public the use of public money.” The petition also listed failures to record the amount of shipped recyclables and keep the center safe, as well as sending recyclables to the landfill, a lack of concern/communication with public attitude, and failure to follow the mission statement.

Sue Kramer introduced the group to the commissioners, telling the officials “we are here today to address the overall condition of the Sublette Citizens for Recycling.” “There is no excuse for the decline we have been witnessing in the program,” Kramer told the commissioners after listing several dropped programs, disarray of the center, and hours of operation as conditions of the decline. Kramer noted that as the population of the county has gone up, and the funding for the board has gone up, the program “should also be more successful.”

“The attitude of the board and coordinator seems to be ‘do as little as possible,’” Kramer, who resigned in December 2005 as recycling coordinator, explained. The Recycling Center has come under fire lately for dropped business pickup, cancelled curbside pickup, and general mess at the Center. Coordinator Marti Siepp told the Roundup last week the center is struggling with employment issues.

Siepp was present at the commissioners’ meeting but did not comment. “People who recycle here do not expect the recyclables to go to the dump. That is an outrage; it is unacceptable and not necessary,” Kramer told the commissioners, adding “It’s easy to make excuses but they do not take away what should have been going on since the beginning – recycling.”

Business owner Wendi Schwartz presented the petition, telling the county officials “I think the people who are there now aren’t willing to do the work,” and commented that the recycling board “should be passionate” about recycling. Nine citizens were at the meeting supporting the petition.

“It’s been very appalling and very sad what is happening [at the center],” Kathleen Petersen said. “It’s something that can be fixed. We need to have some serious changes.”

Commissioner Joel Bousman said he had met with the board, and discussed some short-and long-term changes that could be examined.

Bousman felt that recycling “had outgrown the capacity of the baler and the facility,” and suggested to the board to keep the baler running “seven hours a day, or whatever you have to.”

He added that there may be the possibility of hauling bales of recyclables to the Teton County’s facility, on the dump trucks which bring their trash to the Sublette County site. “They know it’s a mess, there’s no argument whatsoever it’s a mess,” Bousman said, and explained that the board could look at long-term solutions like moving the center to the transfer station.

Kramer told Bousman, Linn and Cramer that they “need some answers.” The commissioners’ answer for the assembled group was that recycling problems are the recycling board’s responsibility, not theirs. “I continue to be an advocate of recycling,” Cramer said. “Talk to [the board]. I will tell you I’m not going to fire anyone based on a petition.”

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