- Officials in Fort Collins, CO are coming around to the idea of including a small recycling surcharge in revisions to the city's waste regulations to help haulers deal with the challenges of low commodity prices.
- The charge is expected to average about $3 month and the maximum could be no more than 25% of what haulers charge for the smallest of three cart sizes. Under the current proposal this charge could be decided by each company. Gallegos Sanitation Inc., Ram Waste Systems Inc., and Waste Management are the three largest operators in the city.
- In the past, haulers made money from dropping off material at the Larimer County Recycling Center. Now, they pay $28 per ton to drop off single-stream material as compared to $18-20 per ton for tipping at the local landfill.
This new proposal is part of a long-running discussion on how to get Fort Collins to "zero waste" and is a reversal of opinion by some city officials who had previously ruled it out. Last year, the city's overall diversion rate was about 58% and the residential rate was about 33%. The city has set a goal of reaching 75% diversion by 2020, 90% by 2025 and "zero waste" by 2030.
The city's current waste ordinance requires haulers to provide single-stream recycling collection at no extra charge. Under the new ordinance haulers would be required to provide similar service to multi-family and commercial customers by 2020. Haulers have asked that this date be moved to 2022, citing challenges such as additional cost and placement of recycling bins.
Other changes in the new ordinance include a requirement that all grocers compost their organic waste by 2017. The City Council is currently scheduled to consider this proposal, called the Community Recycling Ordinance, on September 6.