Where is Timberline Disposal based and how many counties does the company serve?
We’re based in Silverthorne, Colo., and we serve over 3000 customers of various sizes, both residential and commercial, in 3 counties: Summit, Clear Creek and Jefferson. We also have provided temporary service’s in Grand, Eagle, Park and Lake Counties.
Who are Timberline’s main competitors?
The main one with the deep pockets is Waste Management. Their nearly limitless resources force Timberline to operate at maximum efficiency, to keep customers’ monthly rates low.
Why did Timberline build a transfer station in Silver Plume, and how does it work?
After years of discussion and permitting with several Towns and County officials. Timberline invested over $2 million in the Silver Plume transfer station, where our waste and recycling trucks can offload materials. The transfer station serves as a sort of hub/collection center, and larger vehicles can then haul the material down to a recycling plant and a landfill in the Denver area.
How does it make financial sense to haul those materials so far away?
True, there is an extra transportation cost; but the landfill rates along the Front Range are about a third of what we would have to pay at Summit County’s landfill (SCRAP). This is how we have ensured that we can keep our customers’ rates low.
Which landfill are you using, and what exactly are those fees?
At the Foothills Landfill in Golden, we pay $19 per ton, compared with $60 per ton at SCRAP. The latter fee is one of the highest in the state.
What is your response to the claims by Summit County officials that Timberline’s refusal to use the county landfill is causing a budgetary shortfall and thus forcing cutbacks to the recycling program?
We have no control over the fees or operation that the county chooses to establish at the landfill, nor how the county budgets the use of the revenues. We can only make decisions based on the best ways to keep our customers’ rates low and keep our company in business.
Is Timberline going to allow recycling to disappear in Summit County?
Recycling is perhaps the most important part of our business, because we live and work here as your Rocky Mountain neighbors, and we take great pride in the environment; so we plan to make recycling services available to everyone in Summit County for as long as we’re around.
How can Timberline make recycling a profitable endeavor, when the County clearly is unable?
The recycling market fluctuates, and the values of the materials change; so we believe that we have to be prepared at the same time to change the way we do business. Sometimes that means paying a small fee for the services. We think it’s a relatively minor sacrifice for such a noble effort.
Why should consumers like us pay for recycling service when there are companies willing to pay for the material?
The value of the material somewhat offsets the cost of collecting, hauling, bundling, and transporting those materials. But the offset is not 100%.
Are there any real financial benefits to recycling?
Yes, the more you recycle, the less space you use in the landfill and its costly landfill cell. The more slowly the landfill reaches capacity, the longer you can delay the investment into another landfill or cell.
How soon is SCRAP scheduled to reach capacity?
Under previous material flow, the experts said the landfill’s useful life would end about 2056. If it’s true that Timberline had previously accounted for about a third of that material, that means you can extend the lifespan by another 33% or until about 2069.
Can you explain how the recycling drop-off centers are funded via the SCRAP landfill?
The Breckenridge and Frisco drop-off centers are for the use of all Summit County residents and business that choose to use them. The centers are being funded with the fees from the SCRAP landfill. That means, anybody who uses the landfill is paying for the recycling centers, regardless of whether those people want to use the recycling centers. It also means that some residents and businesses are essentially paying twice for recycling – once indirectly through the landfill fees, and then again directly when they pay their haulers for private recycling services.
If Breckenridge and Frisco residents have convenient recycling centers that are funded by Summit County, is that fair to Dillon and Silverthorne residents, who have no recycling centers?
Probably not. That’s’ a good question for the residents and County officials. We think County officials need to take a hard look at ways to lower the cost of operation at these drop-off centers and possibly get funding from sources other than landfill fees.
What are some possible sources?
The County could apply for grant money or turn the centers over to a non-profit organization. The County could also ask each town to take over. The County could charge a fee for usage, or even ask taxpayers if they want to agree to fund the centers. Some creativity is in order here.