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21 January 2014 -- (Fort Collins, CO) – The Fort Collins community has been so successful with exceeding waste-reduction goals that the City is now aiming for zero waste by 2030.
The City Council approved the new goal in December after an extensive nine-month planning process. The plan includes reaching a per-capita goal of 2.8 pounds of trash per day by 2025.
The City embarked on the 2013 strategic plan for waste reduction and recycling after reaching a goal of 50 percent waste diversion in 2012 – a goal set in 1999 had been finally reached.
“Our residents and business sectors should be applauded for their persistence and diligence in helping the community reach waste diversion goals that also reduce our carbon footprint and support economic health,” said Susie Gordon, senior environmental planner for the City who is leading the Road to Zero Waste Plan.
Gary Liss, Rick Anthony, Ruth Abbe, and Eric Lombardi of Zero Waste Associates assisted the City with setting new goals.
No issues or options were off-limits in a series of Community Conversations in 2013 that addressed composting, reduce & reuse, recycling, and waste-to-clean-energy. The vigorous, interactive discussions are available online at http://www.fcgov.com/zerowaste/community.php
The City’s Road to Zero Waste Plan aligns closely with triple-bottom-line principles of economic, environmental and social sustainability for the community. The plan contains a toolbox of strategies and ideas, starting with proposals to make recycling universally available and adding compostable materials to the curbside collection system. Funding tools will be developed to award economic incentives for local recycling entrepreneurs. Additionally, expanded requirements for construction and demolition recycling, landfill disposal bans (adding to Fort Collins’ current prohibitions on electronics and cardboard), and other regulations will be explored.
Fort Collins’ vision is to consciously invest in new ways to manage its ‘discards’. Charting the course for Zero Waste will steer the community away from traditional landfill technology and toward new opportunities that create jobs, conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gases that would otherwise be emitted from manufacturers and landfills - ultimately saving taxpayers’ money.