NEWS AND EVENTS:
Saul Valera, the Solid Waste Manager for Teton County was named this year's Recycler of the Year at the annual Trash Bash fundraiser hosted by Teton Valley Community Recycling on Oct. 15. Here Saul, center with the TVCR plaque is pictured with, from left to right, Transfer Station Foreman Todd Nichols, Transfer Station employees Ron Andersen, Will Wise and Teton County Engineer Darryl Johnson.
TVCR names Saul Valera the 2016 "Recycler of the Year"
Teton Valley Community Recycling is the little engine that could — and for almost 20 years — our 20 year anniversary is next year — this organization as been working on behalf of you to grow the practice of reduce, reuse and recycle in Teton County.
I recently attended a Solid Waste Association conference in Lewiston, Idaho. There I had the opportunity to engage with other municipalities from across the state. Bright eyed and holding my new canvas TVCR bag, I walked up to a neighboring county and said, “Good Morning! I’ve had four cups of coffee and a full nights sleep for the first time since having a baby in February.” I continued, “Tell me about your recycling program!”
“What recycling program,” was the answer I received.
And so over the course of the of the last five months, I have come to find that Teton County is emerging as a leader when it comes to all things waste diversion and recycling. It’s been a long and storied road to get to this point.
But you see, every small step forward is just that — a step forward.
I would like to acknowledge the TVCR board who are an incredible mix of passionate and committed volunteers who encourage and inspire this non profit to new heights. Ashley Koehler, Al Young, Emily Selleck, Ellen Ewankow and Dave Hudasko. Thank you for all your work. And thank you to our 2016 business spooners who include MD Nursery, Eagle Orthopedics, Basin Travel Stop, RAD Curbside, Peaked Sports, Farmers Insurance, Fall River Electric and Silver Star Communications.
Teton Valley Community Recycling would not be the organization that it is without the people who work on the front lines of solid waste and waste diversion in Teton County. Day in and day out the staff at the Teton County Transfer Station go above and beyond their work detail, sorting waste where they can, holding the public to a higher standard of compliance and literally saving the county hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars a year. Last year alone, the staff at the Transfer Station diverted 85 tons of recyclable material out of the waste stream because they could. And also because they wanted to.
This kind of job excellence isn’t because we got lucky. Excellence is modeled and we have a model in Saul Valera.
For those of you who don’t know who Saul is, he’s formally referred to as the Solid Waste Manager for the Teton County Transfer Station. I’m sure Saul has his good days and his better days at the Transfer Station, but his job is more than just a 9-5 — he puts in unseen hours from running the weigh station to talking with the public about sorting and fees. While TVCR may strive to set policy for recycling efforts, it’s Saul who has worked to find the companies that buy our recyclables. It is Saul that meets the contractor at the gate and constantly advocates for construction sorting — wood, metal, — materials that cost the county $76 ton not including staff and gas to haul to the landfill. Money that can be used in other ways — invested in libraries, schools, roads, this is the impact that so little of us understand from simply sorting.
I was meeting with Saul last month and we were walking around the Transfer Station. He stopped me and said, “Do you smell that?”
“No,” I said. “Smell what?”
He smiled and said exactly. We were walking through the county’s animal composting area. The sign of a well managed animal composting site, is the lack of smell. It was, to say the least, impressive. This is why Jefferson County wants Teton County to teach them our ways. We’re a leader and Saul is pushing us to always to be better.
Recently Saul was elected as the public board member from District 5 at the September ISWA conference ensuring better representation at the state level and access to more resources and technology from across the state as it pertains to waste management and diversion.
These are only the tip of what the public has come to expect from Saul and his team. TVCR is proud to partner with Teton County and work beside someone like Saul who has committed himself and his staff to job excellence.
And this is why Saul Valera is this year’s 2016 Recycler of the Year.
--Jeannette Boner, executive director, TVCR
TVCR hires new Executive Director — Teton Valley Community Recycling announced this week that Jeannette Boner has been named their new Executive Director, taking the reigns from outgoing director Jennifer Werlin.
After more than 10 years in Teton Valley working in all capacities of the publishing industry, Boner turned her focus to her young and growing family and the life of a freelance writer before accepting the TVCR board’s offer last week. Boner has lived and worked in Teton County carving out a sweet little life tucked into the Tetons having worked as publisher, an editor, a business owner, and most passionately as a journalist.
When she’s not writing and weaving together local stories, she can be found along the local trails and slopes with her kid, her dog and her boy. Boner’s non profit work in Teton Valley includes currently serving as a board member with the Teton Valley Foundation. She also served as the co-chair for One Book, One Community and was a board member for the Teton Valley Education Foundation.
- TVCR featured in the 1% for the Tetons Video Blitz!
TVCR was one of the featured nonprofits in the 2014 1% for the Tetons Video Blitz. Amateur filmmakers "Elucid" created this fantastic video about recycling in Teton Valley. We love the fact that this video used "recycled" clips from the past to tell the story of recycling.
Or click the link below to access the video.
Support businesses that support recycling! TVCR would like to thank the following premium sponsors of TVCR who help us provide sustaining resources for waste reduction in Teton Valley.