Vail announces winners of the town’s first business recycling challenge | VailDaily.com

Vail announces winners of the town’s first business recycling challenge

Daily staff report
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VAIL — Results from the town of Vail's inaugural Business Recycling Challenge have been announced. The seven participating businesses averaged a 57 percent recycling rate following the four-week challenge, improving from a 49 percent average before the competition began. Participants will be recognized by the Vail Town Council during the evening meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Manor Vail, McNeil Property Management, Mountain Standard, the Steadman Clinic, Sweet Basil, Vail Mountain School and Vail Spa Condominiums all participated in the challenge. Mark Hoblitzell, the town's environmental sustainability coordinator, said the participants went above and beyond to show that high levels of recycling can be achieved in the community. Currently, the Eagle County recycling rate is 22 percent, compared to 12 percent in Colorado and 34 percent nationally. The town of Vail adopted a community-wide recycling ordinance in 2014 and the challenge program is part of on-going efforts to reach community waste diversion goals.

All businesses received an initial baseline audit to determine recycling rates as well as education on recycling best practices. Throughout the challenge, participants were audited each week to measure progress. The town of Vail partnered with Walking Mountains Science Center to run the challenge and serve as an expert liaison on recycling and waste diversion.

A recent study showed that there is the potential to divert up to 80 percent of the material that goes into the Eagle County landfill by using existing recycling and composting infrastructure in the valley. Hoblitzell said Recycling Challenge participants showed that it is possible to achieve high recycling rates no matter the type of business and the unique challenges that different organizations face.

To learn more about how to improve recycling in your business, go to http://www.lovevail.org or contact Hoblitzell, 970-479-2333 or mhoblitzell@vailgov.com, or Melissa Kirr, sustainability programs director at Walking Mountains Science Center, melissak@walkingmountains.org.