City Council Repeals Bag Ordinance, Approves Road to Zero Waste Resolution
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The City Council on Tuesday repealed the disposable bags ordinance and simultaneously reiterated the City’s commitment to reuse and recycling by accelerating zero-waste goals in a new Zero Waste Resolution.
Council voted to repeal an ordinance that would have required all Fort Collins retailers to begin charging 5 cents per disposable bag as of April 2014.
“We heard our citizens and responded – the disposable bags ordinance is not the way to go,” said Bruce Hendee, Chief Sustainability Officer. “However, our community has told us that they want us to continue to find innovative ways to increase recycling and environmental sustainability, especially with the Larimer County Landfill filling up. Tonight, we accelerated that road to zero waste by suggesting staff explore some key techniques.”
The resolution adopted Tuesday directs staff to take a number of specific, short-term steps:
- Expand community-wide awareness of measures to prevent waste from being created
- Construct a new Community Recycling Center in 2015, subject to funding approval, for a one-stop recycling facility that also accepts a variety of hard-to-recycle materials such as electronic waste and certain household hazardous wastes
- Explore a universal recycling ordinance that would improve access to curbside recycling and organics collection for residents and businesses
The City reported the community diverted more than half of its waste in 2013 through recycling, reuse and composting, but next steps will be more difficult and require a major shift away from outmoded ways of managing waste, said Susie Gordon, City Senior Environmental Planner.
“We will need to think hard about how we can prevent waste from being generated in the first place, look even more closely at finding ways of improving our recycling and organics composting that are convenient for people, and possibly explore further prohibitions on types of materials that really shouldn’t be going into the waste stream,” Gordon said.
In December 2013, the Fort Collins City Council adopted 11 new waste reduction goals after an extensive nine-month Road to Zero Waste planning process. More information on the Road to Zero Waste is available at https://www.fcgov.com/zerowaste/.