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Statewide Recycling Group Honors Fort Collins Employee with Lifetime Achievement

Released on Monday, June 5, 2017
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    Susie Gordon

The Colorado Association for Recycling tonight will honor Susie Gordon, a longtime City of Fort Collins environmental program manager, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Summit for Recycling.

The Summit for Recycling, today through Tuesday at the Fort Collins Marriott, brings together the state's recycling professionals and individuals dedicated to the principles of recycling, waste prevention and composting.

During her 28 years at the City, Gordon has led innovative policy changes in the City’s waste reduction and recycling programs, including efforts to ban electronics and cardboard in the landfill, and initiated Road-to-Zero-Waste goals adopted by City Council and the new Timberline Recycling Center’s hard-to-recycle yard.

“Susie has been a tireless leader of programs that have resulted in 95 percent of Fort Collins’ residents recycling and more than half of the community's discards getting recycled or composted,” said Jackie Kozak Thiel, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Collins. “She has also been a tremendous resource at the state level, assisting other communities with best practices and recycling policy.”

Gordon has served multiple roles on advisory boards with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Pollution Prevention.

Highlights of Gordon’s achievements with her team at the City:

  • Implemented a Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance in 1995 – still a model program for subscription-based PAYT that was updated by City Council in 2016;
  • In 1999, worked with City Council to pass a diversion goal of 50% by 2010 and reached it;
  • Opened Fort Collins’ drop-off center in 2002 for those who didn’t have access to curbside recycling – used by residents, non-residents and businesses;
  • Initiated glass-only collection bins at the drop-off center and other locations in the community when glass in single-stream collection began to be used primarily as a secondary beneficial use (aggregate for landfill drainage projects). This allowed glass in the collection bins to be used to make glass bottles again.
  • Helped pass a ban on the disposal of electronics in the community’s wastestream in 2007, long before any legislation was passed at the state level and a cardboard ban in 2012; and
  • Led the visioning and engagement process that resulted in the Road to Zero Waste plan and the Council-adopted resolution that calls for 75 percent waste diversion by 2020, 90 percent by 2025 and 100 percent or "Zero Waste" by 2030.

For more information on the City’s recycling programs, go to