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City recycle program gaining ground

Survey shows good attitude among residents; recycle program gaining ground

Mar 15, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

Sixty percent of people living in Riverton feel as if Wyoming is going in the right direction, according to a recent survey conducted by the Wyoming Association of Realtors.

Public services director Bill Urbigkit presented statistics from the survey at the Riverton City Council work session Tuesday.

With more than 605 respondents statewide -- 75 from Riverton -- the telephone survey asked individuals to give specifics on what characteristics made their city or town enjoyable.

Top answers from Riverton residents included "friendly and giving people," "nice neighbors", a "tight-knit community," the size of the town, and the quality of education.

"I feel like this survey validates the fact that I'm not crazy in thinking Riverton is a wonderful place to live," Urbigkit said. "This survey could have come back to us with people thinking Riverton is not that great, but it didn't. It came back showing people genuinely enjoy living here, which I think is great."

The largest concern Riverton residents had was the condition of city roads, according to the survey.

"I think this is a great opportunity to get completely unbiased opinions that are willing to give the city feedback on how everything is running and how it can be improved," Urbigkit said.

Riverton recycling

Recycling in Riverton also was discussed during the work session. Urbigkit gave an update on the tiered pay-as-you-throw rate that will offer incentive to join and verify participation in the recycling program.

The recent implementation of tipping fees by the Fremont County Solid Waste District has made recycling more of a financially driven process than simply a feel-good initiative.

Urbigkit said the full scale implementation of the tiered PAYT rates is set to begin this spring. City staff said the program should substantially increase the amount of material being diverted from the landfill. The challenge will be to maintain operational costs while increasing the tonnage of material diverted. Staff hopes to continue providing recycling opportunities in an economically viable way.

Urbigkit said residents have complained that the drop-off facilities are often overflowing with recycling materials. Councilman Richard Gard said he has also received complaints from people who were unable to drop off their recycling because the bins were full.

"The drop off station near McDonald's is constantly overflowing, and I think if we are going to offer a service then we need to work to make sure we keep up with it," Gard said.

The City of Riverton provides six neighborhood drop off areas: Riverton City Hall (aluminum, paper and plastic), Central Wyoming College (plastic), Owl Creek Apartments (paper and plastic), Reach Foundation (paper and plastic), Smith's Food and Drug (paper, plastic, cardboard and glass) and Bailey Tire and Auto Services (cardboard, paper and plastic).

Yard waste program

Urbigkit said the yard waste program has increased in popularity, and curbside pick-up will resume March 19.

"It has been such a mild spring, and everyone is antsy to get their yards fixed up and fill up those blue containers," Urbigkit said.

Residents with questions about yard waste pick-up can call 856-3687. Hours of operation for the yard waste facility are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday.

The yard waste containers should include only yard waste -- loose leaves, grass clippings, garden waste and limbs cut to 3 feet in length. Dirt, rocks, plastic and other garbage will not be permitted in the yard waste receptacles.

"This will save people money in the long run, and we think it is a good system that we hope to make more economical and financially prudent in the future," Urbigkit said.

Urbigkit said he hopes more residents will participate in recycling and looks forward to nurturing established partnerships with Fremont County Solid Waste District.

Mayor Ron Warpness said he was supportive of the recycling goals for Fremont County.

"My wife had me bring the patio furniture out over the weekend because of the beautiful weather," Warpness said. "I know we are on the edge of yard work where I will be raking the lawn so it will be nice to have the yard waste starting back up again."

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