Mandatory recycling coming to Vail |

Mandatory recycling coming to Vail

VAIL, Colorado – A mandatory recycling program is coming to Vail, but questions remain about just what that program will look like.

The Vail Town Council isn’t yet considering an ordinance that would establish the program, which intends to cut the town’s waste stream by 25 percent by 2019. A committee is still working on details, and Kristen Bertuglia of the Vail Community Development Department Tuesday gave council members an update of that group’s work, and presented several recommendations.

The most important of those recommendations is making the program mandatory. That means both residential and commercial customers would have to have recycling bins along with their residential trash bins. Trash companies would presumably charge customers for those bins.

Businesses would also be required to provide “recycling options” for guests and clients.

While town officials are trying to keep any potential program as simple as possible, it may be difficult for people to have just a trash bin and one recycling bin.

The problem, at least for some customers, is the fact that the “material recycling facility” at the Eagle County Landfill doesn’t take cardboard. That means cardboard would have to either be trucked to Summit County or Denver after being separated out of a bin.

Council member Kerry Donovan said the desire for one-bin recycling needs to be weighed against the reality of the costs of trucking material to Denver.

Donovan also asked if the business community had yet had a chance to provide input on the committee’s recommendations. Bertuglia said the committee is still doing that.

“We want businesses to know that this is coming and it’s going to be mandatory,” council member Kevin Foley said.

And, despite a recommendation for a six-month phase-in process when the council does pass an ordinance, council member Susie Tjossem warned council members that even half a year might not be enough time, particularly in the case of residents who may not spend much time in town.

While nothing official is before the council yet, mayor Andy Daly said now’s the time to start putting out information about the possible regulations.

“We need people to know that some time in the next six to 12 months we’re going to start in with mandatory recycling,” Daly said. “And everything I’ve heard from people is that it’s about time.”

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