Can Vail make business recycling easier? | VailDaily.com

Can Vail make business recycling easier?

VAIL, Colorado – Recycling may start at home, but business recycling is important, too.

The Vail Town Council Tuesday heard a report from Laurie Batchelder Adams and Michelle Kincheloe of LBA Associates, Inc. That company had been hired by the town to look into how much, or how little, town businesses are recycling. The study was done as part of a town goal to get 25 percent or more of its waste out of the Eagle County Landfill by 2019.

Batchelder Adams and Kincheloe spent several months surveying town businesses, culminating with an actual “audit” of what those businesses threw out, conducted over two days in February.

The study found that more businesses might be willing to recycle if it was more convenient. But Vail’s lack of alleyways, the fact that many trash cans are located virtually underneath hotel and condo bedrooms, and the high price of virtually every square foot of commercial space conspire against more effective programs.

It also found that much of what gets thrown out is classified as “organic” material that could be composted, a category of trash which is tough to store and haul.

Batchelder Adams had several recommendations for town officials to beef up commercial recycling, including launching a pilot program involving a few businesses and working with haulers to make recycling easier. The town should also review some of its regulations that make putting recycling bins into trash areas more difficult.

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While some businesses are dedicated to recycling and others aren’t, council member Susie Tjossem said the town needs to help convince those who are wavering to participate in recycling programs.

Vail Homeowners Association Director Jim Lamont suggested using some of the town’s recently built loading and delivery facilities for recycling. He also suggested encouraging businesses and suppliers to adopt a system by which beer distributors could take back empties when they deliver fresh product, and food distributors could take back the cardboard boxes they use for their items.

Council members said they’d continue to work on building up a program.