Vail may slash trash |

Vail may slash trash

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail aims to reduce the amount of trash it sends to the Eagle County, Colorado landfill by 25 percent within a decade, according to a preliminary environmental plan.

“We want to have a policy where the town is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability through a commitment to community partnerships,” said Bill Carlson, environmental health officer for the town of Vail.

The Town Council will consider the “environmental strategic plan” at its meeting Tuesday.

The draft plan contains six goals. The trash reduction goal includes reducing the amount of trash that goes to the landfill by 10 percent in five years and 25 percent in 10 years.

One way to do that could be to institute a “pay as you throw” program that would create higher fees for people who throw away more garbage, Carlson said.

That also would encourage recycling, he said.

Curbside compost pickup could be another method to reduce the amount of trash that goes to a landfill, said Kristen Bertuglia, environmental sustainability coordinator for the town of Vail.

Other objectives include reducing the town’s energy use by 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2020, and using renewable energy. Vail already buys enough wind-power credits to offset its yearly electricity use.

The town could reduce its consumption by adopting green building codes, which mandate energy-efficient buildings, Bertuglia said. Or the town could compel more people to use energy-efficient lighting, she said.

Another goal of the draft plan is to reduce the total “vehicle miles” traveled by commuters and guests by 20 percent by 2020.

Residents identified environmental stewardship, along with housing and transportation, as a top goal of the town during town meetings last year.

Since then, Vail has studied environmental programs in other towns such as Fort Collins and Aspen to come up with the draft plan, Carlson said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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