The same product that was once mined from the Carol Ann Gravel Pit just east of Gypsum could return to its point of origin, in a building material reuse operation called Newby Aggregate Recycling.
The Eagle County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a special use permit for the 32.4-acre project – which is part of a 67-acre property owned by Bob Newby and bordered by the Union Pacific Railroad and US Highway 6 to the south, the Biomass Power Plant to the west, Colorado Division of Wildlife Crown lands to the north, and the Gypsum Ranch Sand and Gravel Pit to the east. This week’s hearing was actually the second time that council has considered the case, as an error in the public notice of the project necessitated the postponement of the hearing.
The construction material recycling operation will include material stocks, access road, material crushing area, batch processing plants and other installation areas. Project planners argued that the land’s history as a gravel pit is what makes the property an attractive option for recycling building materials.
“We are using a disrupted old industrial site that has only been partially reclaimed,” said project planner Scot Hunn.
Ben Langenfeld, representative of Newby Aggregate Recycling, said the new recycling operation will be at the forefront of a growing industry.
“Most of the material from building demolition is recyclable,” Langenfeld said. “But most of this material goes to the landfill or is dumped illegally, unfortunately.”
Because building materials are heavy and bulky, they take up a lot of space in landfills, Langenfeld continued. “Believe it or not, there (demolition materials) is the largest percentage of inorganic material that goes into the landfill. I tend to think of recycling building materials as the composting of inorganic materials.
As with any industrial use, Langenfeld noted that the project must address its impacts on neighboring owners and the community as a whole. These impacts include air quality, noise, visual impact and traffic.
Newby Aggregate Recycling must adhere to air quality standards set by the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which regulates aggregate processing facilities and power plants. concrete. The facility will need to obtain the appropriate permits for these operations. Additionally, Langenfeld said the operation will maintain an air quality hotline so members of the public can report concerns.
Langenfeld said the establishment’s hours of operation will be limited from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Due to previous gravel mining, the site is located under neighboring properties. Langenfeld noted that this topography will help minimize noise and visual impacts. The previous gravel operation also eased traffic for the new proposal, Langenfeld said, noting that the acceleration and deceleration lanes on US Highway 6 are already in place.
“Part of what makes this project attractive is that we don’t have to dump a lot of impacts in a new area,” he said. “We are really minimal in our impacts from the type of facility we are.”
One final mitigation is timing, Langenfeld said. “What we’re planning to do here has an expiration date,” he said.
The proposed lifespan for the operation is until October 2, 2039 – the same date that a site access permit granted by the town of Gypsum will expire.
Public comments on the proposal have been modest, noted Colton Berck, Eagle County planner. A total of four letters were submitted regarding the plan – two in favor and two against. That said, the project has met with opposition from neighboring landowners, valley residents and the town of Gypsum.
In its referral comments regarding the proposal, the Town of Gypsum noted that the aggregate installation is not in line with the community’s long-term master plan. Gypsum officials have requested that if the project is approved, the life of use be limited to the same time as the property access permit granted by the Gypsum Planning Commission. Additionally, city officials noted that the eventual reclamation plan for the property should include Gypsum’s contribution.
“These types of places are good for storing water,” said Lana Bryce, Gypsum planner.
Neighboring owners Derrick and Kelly Bretta noted that in the 1990s, the county approved the operation of the gravel pit in the area with the assurance that once the material was mined, industrial uses in the area would cease. The new operation conflicts with those earlier assurances, they said.
“I am very concerned about dust, noise and air quality,” said Kelly Bretta. “Recycling is great, but sometimes that’s not all it’s supposed to be.”
“I’m very pro when it comes to recycling when it’s in the right place,” said Joanna Kerwin, a local resident. “I’m very concerned about having a hot asphalt plant there. “
In their deliberations, the Commissioners noted Gypsum’s objection to the proposal.
“It’s difficult because we like to play with our neighbors. We don’t want to do something that is of great concern to the town of Gypsum, ”said Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney.
She noted that by tying the time of special use to the city’s access permit, the county wants to limit the conflict.
“I measure all the concerns that we have heard today for the purpose of climate action and I appreciate so much that the private sector is offering us a solution,” she added.
“I’m not sure there is ever a good location for an asphalt plant,” said Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry. However, the proposed site would be less intrusive than other possible locations, she noted.
“It’s very embarrassing to be in that position with the town of Gypsum, but I think the town has some control with its access permit,” added Chandler-Henry.
“It looks like a very solid operation,” said Commissioner Matt Scherr.
Newby Aggregate Recycling’s full dossier can be viewed at eaglecounty.us/planning/activelanduseapplications.