- On Jan. 19, Fort Collins, CO will consider a proposed community recycling ordinance, revising the current "pay-as-you-throw" ordinance. It will require trash haulers to provide curbside recycling to single-family residential customers, and also calls for retail food businesses to take more responsibility for their waste.
- The ordinance is intended to move the city toward two goals: recycling or composting 75% of waste by 2020, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions based on guidelines in the Fort Collins Climate Action Plan.
- The revisions would mandate that:
- Haulers provide recycling for businesses and multi-family buildings as part of basic trash-collection services.
- Haulers offer single-family residential customers optional yard-waste pickup service for a fee between April 1 and Nov. 30.
- Retail food establishments separate food scraps from trash for compost collection by June 30, 2017.
- Haulers collect food scraps and yard trimmings as part of basic trash and recycling service to all single-family residential customers in 2018.
Fort Collins' waste management business and economic model continues to pendulate as the city looks for a feasible plan, especially for recycling. Recently the city began charging Gallegos Sanitation Inc. (GSI) for dumping recyclables that it could not sell due to their decreased value; GSI asked to charge customers a temporary fee for curbside recycling, to offset the resulting incurred costs.
Some of the latest proposed ideas would first take effect over the next two years, giving haulers, food retailers and customers a chance to prepare for the changes. And haulers will need that time, as they will have to invest in equipment and make logistical changes.
"This gives them the knowledge that the service will be required in the community and gives them enough time to prepare for it," said Caroline Mitchell, an environmental planner with the city, to the Coloradoan. "That was the timing the haulers requested. It seemed reasonable to us."