Vail plans to turn greener |

Vail plans to turn greener

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” The town of Vail, Colorado hopes to make some major cuts ” to energy use, waste and cars on the road.

Goals of Vail’s new environmental include encouraging the town and its residents to produce less waste, use less energy, maintain Vail’s natural environment and travel less by car.

To gauge the town’s progress, Vail will begin tracking emissions and utility bills, Vail Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Kristen Bertuglia said.

Programs outlined by the plan include a creating a green building code similar to the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and collaborating with surrounding counties to streamline the way materials are collected and transported to be recycled.

Some of the ideas in the plan are long-term goals ” such as reducing the amount of waste into the landfill by 25 percent in 10 years ” while others will happen this year, such as the “Pay as You Throw” program, which charges residents according to the amount of trash they need hauled.

The environmental plan will also help the town battle diseased trees, said councilwoman Margaret Rogers.

Many spruce trees in the area are infected with “scale insects,” and need to be treated. The town wants to set up a discounted rate for property owners and make them aware of the problem, she said.

The sustainable measures apply to Vail’s special events, too. Bertuglia wants Vail’s major events to be sustainable and, for example, will encourage organizers to eliminate bottled water at events.

The environmental plan started with Vail 20/20, a community-wide process in which residents’ ranked the environment among their top priorities.

“We’ve been talking the talk for a while, and I’m really pleased to see the program running,” Councilman Farrow Hitt said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

Support Local Journalism