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Community Wide Recycling Requirement Approved by Town Council 

March 19, 2014
Contact: Kristen Bertuglia, 477-3455
Environmental Sustainability Coordinator
(Vail)--Recycling in Vail will transition from voluntary to mandatory beginning July 1 for residential, multi-family and commercial customers. The Vail Town Council voted 5-2 to approve second reading of Ordinance No. 6, Series 2014 at its March 18 meeting after delaying a vote at an earlier meeting to allow time to contemplate provisions to address implementation challenges for “hardship” properties. In this case, those properties would be required to apply to the Planning and Environmental Commission for an exemption based on criteria to include unreasonable cost considerations, physical limitations, operational considerations or conflicts with adopted regulations. Exemptions would be allowed for up to 24 months at a time to enable the property owner to work with the town towards compliance.
Council members also agreed to return to a wildlife-resistant container requirement for recyclables to match the current requirement for solid waste containers. To offset the additional cost, the Town Council has agreed to explore sponsorship of a customer rebate program that would subsidize the difference in the cost of a regular recycle bin versus a wildlife-resistant container. 
An extensive public information campaign will be used to alert customers of the pending recycling requirement. In addition, haulers will be required to provide residential customers with information detailing volume-based pricing options and container sizes, and all customers a list of materials required to be recycled and service options. In addition, haulers will be required to provide curbside collection occurring at the same frequency as solid waste pick up. Customers will have a choice in selecting haulers who offer a single stream, single bin collection process, or a dual stream process in which items are sorted into multiple bins.
Implementation of Vail’s community wide recycling mandate is one of several actions that are being taken to fulfill a town initiative to reduce Vail’s landfill use by 25 percent by the year 2019. Town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Kristen Bertuglia says the ordinance is just one component of the town’s greater environmental efforts. “It’s a great step and I'm proud of the Town Council's commitment to find a way to make this a reality for our residents and guests who expect nothing less from the town’s leadership.” Current estimates indicate just 10 percent of residential household waste is being recycled in Vail compared to the national average of 35 percent, while commercial customers in Vail recycle about 19 percent compared to 34.5 percent nationally. Vail has the potential to recycle 58 percent of the trash that is currently going to the landfill. Ask your waste hauler for more information.

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