Avon launches campaign to achieve universal recycling compliance by November | VailDaily.com

Avon launches campaign to achieve universal recycling compliance by November

Campaign will include public forums, digital information sessions and personalized consultations

Staff report
The Recycle Together campaign launched Feb. 1.
Town of Avon/Courtesy photo

The town of Avon is launching its “Recycle Together” education campaign this month to help Avon residents and businesses take steps towards compliance with the town’s forthcoming universal recycling regulations.

The Avon Town Council passed Ordinance 22-13 on Sept. 27, 2022, which will require universal recycling for all residents, commercial entities and visitors in Avon starting on Nov. 1, 2023. The ordinance requires all multi-family and commercial properties to register for recycling services with their waste hauler and separate recyclable materials from landfill-bound trash or face penalties.

If a single-family resident does not have access to a recycling service or does not wish to pay for the additional service, they must bring their recyclable materials to one of six free drop-off centers in Eagle County. The closest location for Avon residents is at 375 Yoder Avenue, east of the Home Depot. This recycling option applies to any residential structures that do not employ a dumpster or communal service for solid waste and or recyclable materials collection.

Avon is the second town in Eagle County that has moved to enforce universal recycling, modeling it after the ordinance that the town of Vail adopted in 2014. In the nine years since the Vail ordinance was implemented, the waste diversion rate in town rose from 9% to 35%, outpacing the national average of 32% and state average of 15%. Now Avon hopes to achieve a similar trajectory of success through the new ordinance. 

“We know from staff research and the recent Business Outreach Survey that many businesses support a recycling ordinance in Avon and our local trash haulers have reported excellent recycling registration as well as good behavior and compliance with recycling requirements,” Mayor Amy Phillips said. “With the existing culture around recycling, the recycling ordinance will help push our waste diversion efforts to the next level.”

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The town’s educational campaign will include regular information publications via video and social media to help the community understand the recycling requirements and compliance deadline. Every week, Sustainability Coordinator Charlotte Lin will host a “Trash Talk Thursday” on the town’s Facebook page where she will address questions from community members. Lin is also offering free personalized recycling consultations for businesses to determine optimal ways to incorporate recycling standards into their day-to-day practices.

One of the recycling disparities that the town is striving to overcome is the gap between its registration rate and its waste diversion rate. Data from waste hauler Vail Honeywagon showed that nearly 90% of Avon residents are registered for recycling services, but only around 30% of recyclable waste in the town is actually diverted from the landfill. Lin believes education is key to closing that gap.

“We know that we already have a pretty high registration for recycling, but then our recycling rate is still just hovering around 30%. That is a really interesting gap,” Lin said. “It’s clear that even if you register you might not be doing it as well as you could be, so what we’re aiming for here is constant improvement.”

In addition to the information that will be regularly distributed on its social channels, Avon will also host two in-person public forums to address compliance questions and feedback. The forums are currently planned for June and September and will be open to all community members. Avon has also updated the recycling resources on its website to include easy access to the Eagle County Waste Wizard and the county’s official recycling guide.

The full ordinance can be found on the town’s website, http://www.avon.org, and addresses new restrictions for different types of customers. All Avon residents and businesses are encouraged to reach out to Sustainability Coordinator Charlotte Lin at clin@avon.org with any questions or concerns.

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