ROCK SPRINGS — While the Rock Springs City Council made it clear at last night’s meeting that it is in favor of offering city-wide curbside recycling to residents, it unanimously voted down an ordinance creating the avenue to do that.
During the Council meeting last night, the Council unanimously voted to not approve the third and final reading of the proposed changes to the “Garbage Collection” ordinance that would have established a city-wide curbside recycling program. At the last meeting, the Council voted to table making a decision on the third and final reading of the ordinance after concerns were brought to their attention by Peak Disposal owner Ryan McGuire.
Prior to taking the vote, Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo explained why the Council was deciding to vote down the ordinance at this time.
“I want to be specifically and transparently clear that the city is not opposed to recycling in any way, shape, or form, but I am going to suggest and request that this ordinance be removed from the table and acted on accordingly because we are simply not at the point where we’re ready for this ordinance,” Mayor Kaumo said.
Mayor Kaumo said this decision is coming after receiving comments from the some collection agencies and information from the recycling center. He said the city can easily bring the ordinance back for review if and when the recycling center has received the grants to purchase sortation equipment needed to provide this service.
Councilor Rob Zotti agreed with Mayor Kaumo saying the support and the intent are there to move forward, but “we just kind of got the cart before the horse on this one.”
“While the ordinance is on hold, the program is far from on hold. The Ray Lovato Recycling Center completely understands the need for the ordinance process to be paused until which time there is more certainty in the procurement of the equipment necessary to support the program,” Devon Brubaker, Ray Lavato Recycling Center board president said in an interview with SweetwaterNOW today.
Brubaker said the center is in the grant application and financing process; and he expects that process to wrap up within the next two weeks. The recycling center is seeking funding support from several entities, however, they are primarily pursing a grant from Closed Loop Partners.
“Based on conversations with numerous Council members, we are confident that once we have more certainty in procuring the needed equipment, we will see the Council revisit and support this ordinance,” Brubaker said. “This also provides additional time for stakeholder input to improve the ordinance to ensure a successful program for all parties when the time is right.”
As for the sortation equipment, it has already been manufactured and is sitting in a warehouse waiting for the center to obtain funding to purchase it.
“There will be a period of building improvements that will need to occur once the funding is secured. The schedule will be highly dependent on zoning, permitting, and supply chain issues,” Brubaker said.