FCSG Statement on Larimer County Wasteshed Coalition Recommendations

 Statement posted on May 22, 2018 

 The Fort Collins Sustainability Group supports the recommendations made by the Larimer County Wasteshed Coalition and encourages the Fort Collins City Council to complete an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Larimer County to construct the waste management projects recommended in the Coalition’s plan. 

This is a good deal: the participation of the city of Fort Collins is necessary for the success of the Larimer County Coalition’s plan; the plan offers the best chance for the city to reach its 2030 Zero Waste goals. 

The Wasteshed Coalition makes five recommendations: 

1. New county landfill; 
2. Central transfer station; 
3. Yard waste composting facility; 
4. Food waste composting facility; and 
5. Construction/demolition debris processing facility. 

Four of the five projects proposed by the Coalition are called for in the City’s existing Zero Waste plan: 1) composting facilities for food; 2) composting facility for yard waste; 3) a processing facility for construction and demolition waste; and 4) a transfer station that separates recyclable and reusable materials from landfill waste. 

The long-term waste strategies presented by the Coalition’s plan will alleviate the need for Fort Collins to pay for expensive infrastructure on its own. It also provides county support for tipping fees and process controls for haulers, issues that have been contentious in the past for the city. Additional benefits are: the ability to raise the capital needed to construct these facilities; and the collaboration offered by the county to provide outreach and education services to a wider population, a necessary component to meet city-wide and regional diversion, recycling and reuse goals. 

 The IGA will require that Fort Collins commit to: 

1. Adopting rules for waste handling that support the use of county facilities; 
2. Hauler licensing requirements throughout the county; 
3. Coordinated data collection and reporting; 
4. The formation of an advisory board; and 
5. Distribution of consistent public education. 

The Fort Collins Sustainability Group believes that the benefits of enacting the Wasteshed Coalition’s plan far outweigh any inconvenience that may be caused by entering an IGA, especially if the IGA enables the City to meet its net Zero Waste goals by 2030. 

We recommend that the city council not only enter into the IGA, but also approach this agreement with three planning outcomes in mind: 

1. Incorporating climate action goals; 
2. Achieving significant regional greenhouse gas emission reductions; and 
3. Maintaining the goal of reaching net Zero Waste by 2030. 

Hunter Buffington 

Member of the Fort Collins Sustainability Group and a stakeholder in the Larimer County Watershed Coalition 


Author: Rick Casey

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