Award, grant and new project at Ravalli County Recycling  

April 2015

It's a banner year for recycling in Ravalli County.

With help from 40  volunteers, three part-time paid staff, and a new, large site for its yard, Ravalli County Recycling (RCR), Inc., collects and keeps out of the landfill some 516 tons (more than a million pounds) per year of donated cardboard, newspapers, plastics, office mix, aluminum and steel cans. RCR just won a Montana EcoStar Pollution Prevention Award for its efforts and just secured a $2,567 Rapp Family Foundation grant for expansion of recycling drop-off services in Stevensville. (The 516-ton figure comes from 2014, is up from 401 tons in 2013 and considerably higher than 271 tons in 2012.)

Growth of the five-year-old, citizen-operated, nonprofit made possible the purchase of a compactor truck with DEQ funding.  A donated baler recently came online. Both dramatically reduce the bulk of recycled materials. Baled items also bring higher prices from recycling brokers and help RCR pay rent, salaries, fuel and equipment repairs — all keeping this ambitious Western Montana venture afloat. (Prices for recyclables fluctuate and RCR, at times, takes many of these materials at a loss so that donations and strict budgeting are key.) 

Volunteers are the heart and soul of RCR. They put in 4,959 hours last year as they assisted 13,400 customer visits, up from 10,600 visits in 2013. This all takes place in just three hours every Saturday morning and another three hours each Monday afternoon at the RCR yard, 759 US Hwy. 93 No., two miles north of Hamilton.  

And, please consider donating! Even a small amount can help so much.

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