Recycling Center now charging fees for disposal of bear spray and fuel canisters

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Teton County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution allowing the Teton County Recycling Center to charge a small fee for the disposal of bear spray, isobutane fuel canisters, and one pound propane fuel canisters at the center.

The fee is set at $1 per canister and is effective as of yesterday, April 21.

The Recycling Center previously did not charge a fee for the disposal of these types of canisters. In partnership with Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the canisters were collected from Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling (ISWR) and recycled by Park employees using specialized equipment to extract the remaining fuel and chemicals before the canisters were recycled.

In 2020 the bear spray extraction machine was decommissioned and in the fall of 2021, the propane machine was also decommissioned, due to safety concerns for both machines.

Now, bear spray, propane, and isobutane canisters will be disposed of as household hazardous waste, a much more expensive process. ISWR estimates bear spray, isobutane, and propane canister disposal will cost $16,000 for the fiscal year 2021.

ISWR received $6,000 from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, $1,800 from Vail Resorts and anticipates receiving $4,000 from the Teton Conservation District to support canister disposal. The remaining $4,200 will be funded through the $1 per canister tip fee.

“Im not too worried about the fee, what im more worried about really is the time and effort it takes to pay the fee in terms of people being incentivized or disincentivized to dispose of their canisters properly,” said Commissioner Mark Newcomb during the meeting Tuesday.

Brenda Ashworth, Superintendent of Solid Waste and Recycling, said that the Recycling Center was looking at “several options, even putting just a little fee box out so people can pay,” adding, “there are a variety of ways we can make that easier for residents and also for tourists who are dropping off.”

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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