CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is recognizing America Recycles Day (ARD) today. DEQ also is celebrating the recycling contributions of Wyoming’s businesses and residents.
Recycling and reducing waste are steps to protect the state’s environment in which everyone can participate. But recycling also creates jobs and can lower landfill costs for the state.
Craig McOmie, DEQ’s state recycling coordinator, said, “ARD spotlights the importance of waste diversion that results in job creation, as well as the extension of landfill life cycles.”
He explained that landfills can be expensive to design, construct and expand. Additionally, changes in overseas markets resulted in numerous obstacles for the recycling industry in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic created further challenges and resulted in some Wyoming recycling programs shutting down.
“Still, the vast majority of the recycling centers and landfill diversion programs within Wyoming have managed and are managing to hang on in these uncharted territories,” McOmie said.
Some Wyoming businesses have absorbed recycling costs into their business plan because they believe in the value of recycling.
Sean Valentine, president of Western Wyoming Beverages said, “We wanted to be more green with our environmental footprint.”
He explained that every pallet comes wrapped in a lot of plastic, and rather than throwing it out, they send it to Trex decking company to be made into composite decking materials.
Western Wyoming Beverages also sees a lot of waste from products that expire or break, Valentine said. His company sends that waste to Parallel Products of Colorado. He said that organization turns liquid products in an ethanol-based fuel.
“It costs money, but we’re doing the right thing by the environment,” Valentine said.
DEQ recognizes the hard work involved in keeping recycling programs up and running given the costs associated, and commends the residents, organizations and facilities who continue to make this a priority in their daily activities.