Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

9 Oct 2012

Resource Recovery Park plan to be sorted out by La Plata County Planning Commission

Posted by Adam Howell


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Recycling solid waste that’s destined for area landfills could take on a whole new meaning if a new plan gets approved in La Plata County.

Outlined in red is the location for a 6-phased conceptual development that would recycle a host of various solid wastes while “incubating” green businesses. Image borrowed from the unapproved Resource Recovery Park Conceptual Development Plan.

A six-phased Conceptual Development Plan for a commercial operation that would recycle and reuse garbage while teaching businesses how to profit off of it has been pitched to the County’s Planning Department.

Located on 60 acres of a 559-acre State Land Board parcel just west of C.R. 234 and north of C.R. 235, the Plan would hinge on County approval as well as Chevron Corporation agreeing to the compatible use of the surface adjacent to a compressor station and several wells that they operate.

With the mission of reducing and recovering energy from waste while creating long-term, sustainable

Image borrowed from the proposed Conceptual Development Plan for the Resource Recovery Park.

employment opportunities, RRP’s planning lease was approved by the State Land Board in August of 2011.

If the Plan is approved by the County, the RRP would bring it to the State Land Board to request a long-term development lease there.

Specific to the Park’s plans would be the recycling, repurposing and reusing of cardboard, paper, paperboard, cans, plastic, glass, wood, scrap metal, food waste, electronics, textiles, and other discarded materials.

The Plan submitted to the County states that for each phase, a Class II Land Use Application would need to be submitted that would meet or exceed all requirements set forth the by the County before construction would begin.

Phases listed in the Plan include:

  • Sorting facility
  • Composting
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Green business incubator
  • Reuse businesses
  • Energy recovery

Image borrowed from the unapproved Conceptual Development Plan for the RRP.

Conceived of and presented by Mark Thompson, owner of Phoenix Recycling, the Park is summarized in the Plan as consistent with our community’s desire to minimize our environmental impact and promote economic development off of the massive amount of waste generated by our region as a whole.

While at least three supportive comments were submitted in favor of the Plan so far, Chevron’s Operations Manager Leslie Barns submitted comments with safety concerns related to the proposal adding excessive traffic to the roadway running by their facility.

This, among other concerns of Barns’ would be addressed in detail during a Class II Application process if the CDP is approved by the County.

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