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July 2016 Sustainability Newsletter

Survey on Future of Solid Waste Closes July 31

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Sunday, July 31 is the last day to complete a brief survey about the future of solid waste in Larimer County. The survey asks how residents currently dispose of their garbage, recyclables, food scraps and yard trimmings, as well as their priorities in addressing future waste and recycling options. The survey is available at tinyurl.com/LCwasteshed and is also available in Spanish.
     The survey results will help shape a series of facilitated public forums across the county in September, with additional outreach activities in early 2017.
     The City of Fort Collins is participating in a Regional Wasteshed Planning project to address regional solid waste management in light of the upcoming Larimer County landfill closure, which is expected around 2025. Elected officials and staff from Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park and Larimer County have formed a Regional Wasteshed Coalition to help move the region from a waste disposal management approach to one of resource recovery and materials management.
     Forums on the project will be held in September throughout the county including a meeting in Fort Collins from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. Read more about the fall forums.

Climate Action Plan Update

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The City has a long history of ensuring the core services it provides to the community are sustainable, and many of these services have been aligned with the Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals originally established in 1999. As part of the 2017-2018 biennial budget process, staff has connected many of these existing programs as part of the Climate Action Plan or help meeting CAP goals. There are 94 offers (representing $173.7M in requests) that have been tied to the CAP goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 (Objective 4.1 of the City’s Strategic Plan).
     Of these offers, 21 offers (representing $5.2M) are new or scale up existing programs in order to achieve the updated CAP goals. Examples include a travel behavior survey to best understand which transportation investments have the most impact, a community solar garden that provides options for residents who want to invest in clean energy, and increased energy efficiency rebates.
     Read more about the City’s budget process at www.fcgov.com/budget or the Climate Action Plan at www.fcgov.com/climateaction.

Recycling Update: Council to Consider Ordinance Sept. 6

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In June, Fort Collins City Council gave direction to bring the Community Recycling Ordinance to a regular City Council session, which is the type of meeting in which decisions are made. The updated Community Recycling Ordinance includes slight changes to the way trash haulers charge for single-family trash and recycling service as well as a requirement that businesses and apartment complexes recycle by 2020. A draft ordinance is scheduled to go to City Council on September 6. Keep updated and learn more at www.fcgov.com/recycling/update.php.

     On a related topic: On August 22, the new Timberline Recycling Center will be open. The bins to recycle cans, bottles and paper will move from their current location at Riverside Avenue and Prospect Road to the new location at 1903 Timberline Road, and will continue to be available seven days a week during daylight hours. In addition, the new Timberline Recycling Center will include a hard-to-recycle section that will accept metals, wood, yard trimmings, electronics, latex or oil paint, batteries, antifreeze, motor oil, and aggregates such as concrete, asphalt and porcelain. A $5 entrance fee applies to use the hard-to-recycle portion of the site and an additional fee will be charged for some materials. Learn more about the new center.

City, CSU, Innosphere Join Forces on EV Challenge

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The City of Fort Collins and Innosphere, the community's business incubator, will co-host a business contest around understanding and quantifying actual electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. The electric vehicle or EV challenge opens July 21. Finalists in the competition will present at Colorado State University’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium September 28-29.
     “Technology innovation is absolutely needed to meet the goals laid out in the City of Fort Collins Climate Action Plan,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. “With Fort Collins setting out to be a leader in this space, it's important to have an incubator organization fostering technology startups that have the potential to build new pathways towards a more sustainable future.
     "We are excited about this opportunity to work with the City of Fort Collins and the Rocky Mountain Innosphere on this challenge," said Maury Dobbie, assistant director of CSU's Center for the New Energy Economy and symposium chair. "Our 6th annual symposium is all about finding solutions related to the energy transition of our country, and one of the ways we’re doing that is through collaboration with industry and government."
     Read more about the competition and how to enter.

Last Chance to Register for Multicultural Retreat

August 31 is the deadline to register for the 2016 Multicultural Retreat, which will take place at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park September 24-25. Cost is $55 and full and partial scholarships are available. Register via the Recreator (activity number 430901-01). If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one. The retreat is hosted by the City of Fort Collins Social Sustainability Department, Colorado State University, Front Range Community College, Fort Collins Community Action Network (FCCAN), Poudre School District, Diversity Solutions Group, and community members.

August Deadline Approaching on Grant Funding

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The City of Fort Collins is now accepting online applications for the use of $1.6 million in grant funding dedicated to the creation of affordable housing in the community.
     Funding comes from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program and the City’s Affordable Housing Fund. Funds will be allocated to affordable housing providers and developers, as due on sale loans, with the purpose of providing housing to low and moderate income households.
     The City is accepting pre-applications online at www.fcgov.com/socialsustainability July 14 - August 4. Successful pre-applicants will receive almost immediate notification of eligibility to proceed with a formal submittal. The deadline for final submittals is Thursday, August 25. For more information, contact Beth Rosen at OTcwLjIyMS42ODEy or YnJvc2VuQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==.

Healthy Homes Wins County Public Health Hero Award

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On July 21, the Larimer County Board of Health presented the 2016 Public Health Hero Award to Mary Pat Aardrup and Selina Lujan, the creator and the coordinator, respectively, of the City of Fort Collins’ Healthy Homes program. The Healthy Homes program is designed to improve indoor air quality to protect the health of children and adults by providing free home assessments to Fort Collins residents.  Included with each assessment is a free radon test kit, an inspection of the home for potential mold and moisture problems, information and resources about indoor air quality, and low-cost or no-cost recommendations to mitigate many of the common problems.  The program also links homeowners to zero interest loans for indoor air quality home improvements. By the end of July 2015, the City program had completed 555 assessments. Read more about the award.

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Josh Birks, director of the Economic Health Office for the City of Fort Collins, was one only 50 economic developers invited to participate in the White House Forum on Economic Development the week of July 18 in Washington, D.C. The day-long summit, which was sponsored by the International Economic Development Council and Select USA, featured keynote panels and breakout discussion sessions. Birks is the second City official to attend this summit – SeonAh Kendall, Economic Health manager, attended the summit last year.