BISBEE, AZ – Cochise County Supervisor Pat Call, was selected by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors to serve as their liaison to the newly formed Cochise County Solid Waste Recycling Committee. This advisory group, the first of its kind for Cochise County, will focus on programs that address recycling projects that will fit the diverse needs of the county.
The Recycling Committee is to work in concert with the County Director of Solid Waste Management and the County’s hired consultant, R.W. Beck. “As a Board we have firmly established recycling as one of our top priorities,” Mr. Call stated. “Now we have the funding, a consultant, and a group of smart, enthusiastic citizens to begin making that happen.”
Mr. Call’s experience includes involvement as a County Supervisor in the study of numerous possible countywide recycling solutions. He says many didn’t come to pass because either we weren’t ready economically or the technology wasn’t the right fit for our community as in the plasma arc system.
Nevertheless, there are various successful ongoing efforts to recycle around Cochise County. Motor oil, antifreeze and lead acid batteries are accepted at the landfill and lead acid batteries are recycled. Appliances are also separated from the waste stream at the transfer stations for recycling as are computers. Cardboard is removed from the waste stream at the Sierra Vista transfer station and shipped to Douglas for bailing. Currently between 45 and 65 tons are being recycled and sold each month.
Individual cities in the county are making significant efforts as well. Bisbee has a new recycling program, Douglas has recently implemented a neighborhood drop off program run by a private contractor, Tombstone aggressively removes cardboard from their waste stream and Sierra Vista will recycle between 600 and 800 tons of newspapers and magazines this year.
Mr. Call hopes that the recommendations of the Committee will be adapted to fit the needs of a diverse and growing county. Committee members will be working with the governments of seven cities as well as finding ways to meet the needs of the unincorporated areas of the county.
“There may not be a one size fits all ‘silver bullet’ that will work for the entire county. A variety of recycling methods may be the best solution for the county given its size and diverse population. We also need to remember that there are varied markets for different materials, not all of which may be accessible to us as a rural county.”
The Advisory Committee, made up of three appointed representatives from each Supervisory district, will meet regularly to develop programs and projects to bring to the county, the Rate Review and Advisory Board and the community for consideration. Cochise County was awarded a feasibility grant from Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to hire an outside consultant and to develop comprehensive recycling programs for Cochise County.
The first meeting of the Solid Waste Recycling Committee will be in late February 2008. For more information, contact Mr. Call at 520-432-9200.