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March 9, 2014
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Recycling questions

As an avid recycler and resident of Vail, I have concerns after reading Vail Town Council Agenda Memo for Ordinance No. 6 Series 2014. Regarding an Ordinance No. 6 Series 2014 enacting Title 5, Chapter 12, Vail Town Code, I don’t want to be an inadvertent violator because:

Recyclables List

A. The recyclables list posted at the town of Vail public recycling site has not historically matched Eagle County’s list. I have called Eagle County’s Solid Waste and Recycling Office while standing in front of the town recycling signs. Are all licensed town haulers using the same recycling facilities now and in the future?

Section 1, 5-12-5: A and B (page 6) stipulates that the town will maintain a recyclable materials list on the town website that will be amended as conditions change. Section 1, 5-12-4: D. Notice (page 5) stipulates that haulers are required to annually notify customers of materials that may be recycled. Section 1, 5-12-4: J. Container labels (page 6) stipulates that haulers shall label both the solid waste and the recycling container with pictures and words.

What happens when Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling changes their list for the haulers and the timing of that change? What happens if hauler B has new rules stipulated by facility X in metro Denver and the timing of that change? How do I avoid being in violation on any given date when the the town of Vail enforcement officer inspects my containers? If the town’s website list is the trump card, then why create confusion and waste human and financial resources with the container labels?

B. Section 1, 5-12-4: E. Residential Embedded Rates (page 5) forbids haulers from itemizing the cost of recycling on my bill. I would like to be able to compare and contrast haulers and reward the hauler that is more cost-effective hauling recyclables. Where is the ability for cost accountability and choice as a consumer?

Meeting Standards

C. Section 1, 5-12-4: F. Residential Volume Based Rates (page 5) stipulates that residential solid waster containers shall be no larger than 32 gallons. However Section 1, 5-12-4: I. Frequency of Residential Recycling Service (page 6) stipulates that the residential curbside container for recycling shall be “no smaller than 64 gallons capacity.” Does this mean all of the current 64-gallon bear-resistant trash cans in town are out of compliance? Separately, if a resident has a 32-gallon bear-resistant container labeled for recycling, then is that a violation of the ordinance?

D. Section 1, 5-12-6: B. Requirement for Recycling Service (page 7) implies that I must padlock my solid waste container due to nearby short-term and long-term renters who infrequently poach my trash container. If I have to padlock my solid waste container to avoid a citation of “not more than $2,650 or 180 days incarceration or both.” (according to the recent changes to Section 1-4-1, Vail Town Code), how does the hauler access the padlock at curbside when I am at work?

I am happy to continue utlilzing the recycling drop-off locations in Vail and Edwards, but this ordinance sets up the scenario for me to be a violator, and I do not want to be a victim. I still contend that the town has not exhausted all options to be educational and proactive compared to the city of Fort Collins recycling program that is setting standards of excellence. Even Boulder does not have mandatory recycling.

Regarding the Vail Recycling Advisory Committee cited on page one of the Community Wide Recycling Memo, where were their public meetings posted? I was not aware of this committee’s existence even though I enter my email address for notices when I attend general public meetings. What happens with those attendance lists? I could not locate their minutes in the Feb. 18 Evening Session Agenda pdf file.

Andy Ball

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The VailDaily Updated Mar 9, 2014 06:43PM Published Mar 9, 2014 02:12PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.