VAIL — After agreeing more than a year ago to take the necessary steps to implement town-wide recycling, the Vail Town Council will review on first reading an ordinance that will be used to create a multi-faceted approach to recycling at Tuesday’s evening meeting. The meeting begins at 6 p.m., and the recycling measure is the seventh item on the agenda. Public comments will be encouraged.
Drafted with input from a 12-member recycling advisory committee representing restaurants, lodging, property managers, waste haulers, Eagle County, Vail Resorts, local nonprofits and citizens, the ordinance would transition recycling in Vail from the current voluntary status to mandatory levels beginning June 1. The mandate would apply to all residential, multi-family and commercial customers, similar to the town’s wildlife protection regulations.
‘We’ve Come A Long Way’
The recycling ordinance is the culmination of a four-year process that has included discussions about the positive impacts of recycling as well as opportunities to address operational concerns identified by waste haulers, members of the business community and other interested parties. The effort has been coordinated by Kristen Bertuglia, the town’s environmental sustainability coordinator.
“We’ve come a long way from where we started, and this ordinance will give Vail the tools we need to be a leader in waste diversion in the resort community,” Bertuglia said. “The participation from the advisory committee has been invaluable in addressing some of the challenges unique to Vail.”
As drafted, haulers would be required to submit twice-yearly confidential reports to the town on the weight, in tons, of solid waste and recyclable materials collected. The ordinance also requires haulers to deliver recyclable materials to a recycling facility and to obtain a municipal solid waste collection registration with the town.
The proposed ordinance also requires haulers to provide customers with information detailing volume-based pricing options, container sizes and a list of materials required to be recycled. In addition, haulers would be required to provide a wildlife-resistant container for recyclables with curbside collection occurring at the same frequency as solid waste pickup. Customers would have a choice in selecting haulers who offer a single stream, single bin collection process, or a dual stream process in which items are sorted into multiple bins.
Multifamily residential properties and commercial properties would be required to arrange for the means to recycle, such as a recycling dumpster or cart service. In each instance, multilingual labels would be required to be placed on the recycling containers to help customers know what materials are recyclable.
Decrease Landfill Use by 2019
Implementation of Vail’s community recycling mandate is one of several proposed actions that are being considered to fulfill a town initiative to reduce Vail’s landfill use by 25 percent by the year 2019. Current estimates indicate just 10 percent of residential household waste is being recycled in Vail compared to the national average of 35 percent while commercial customers in Vail Village and Lionshead recycle about 19 percent compared to 35 percent nationally. Vail has the potential to recycle 58 percent of the trash that is currently going to the landfill, according to Bertuglia.
To view the proposed ordinance in its entirety, visit the town’s website at www.vail gov.com. To forward comments in advance of the meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, contact Bertuglia at 970-477-3455.
“We’ve come a long way from where we started, and this ordinance will give Vail the tools we need to be a leader in waste diversion in the resort community.”
Coordinator of environmental sustainability for Vail