Required business, multi-family recycling service on track for March start

Cam Lewis, general manager of Moe’s Original BBQ in Steamboat Springs, breaks cardboard boxes for recycling in the trash outside the restaurant’s back door. “Overall, limiting our litter is an absolutely great idea,” Lewis said.
Suzie Romig/Boat Pilot and Today

Steamboat Springs is on track to mandate commercial recycling services for businesses and multi-family complexes in March, after more than a decade of mandating the provision of recycling services for single-family homes and duplexes.

Steamboat Springs City Council directed staff to host public meetings this month ahead of the scheduled first reading of the ordinance on February 7. Winnie DelliQuadri stated that attendance at the input meetings was moderate and most participants supported the proposed resolution. , the city’s director of special projects and intergovernmental services.

DelliQuadri said the top concern voiced by business owners is having enough space for additional containers to collect recycling where trash containers are already tightly compacted, especially in downtown Steamboat.

City staff addressed these concerns by proposing four grouped recycling drop-off points in the city center that are kept locked for use by subscribers. Locations include municipal land on Eighth Street near the Back Door Grill, near Clyde’s Pies on Seventh Street, on the alley side of 840 Yampa St., and in the City Hall complex.

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Assuming the City Council approves the ordinance, the requirement to provide services for waste haulers will be spread over 18 months.

33% of commercial recycling customers will be serviced in the first six months, then 66% within a year and 100% in 18 months. Commercial locations that may face difficulties due to excessive space restrictions or cost issues may request a two-year exemption. Community Recycling Coordinator Alicia Archibald said the new regulation will also require shippers to provide recycling collection capacity, which is half the garbage service.

Archibald is tasked with assisting business owners, residential complexes, HOAs, and other commercial recycling customers with a variety of items, such as educating employees on reducing pollution, providing information on government grant programs that can assist funds to create and update consistent signs. commercial waste containment. Archibald can be reached by email at [email protected].

A community recycling survey conducted in 2020 showed that 94% of respondents preferred more commercial recycling, and 72% “strongly” supported the service. In addition to public aspirations, the city is working to meet the waste diversion targets set in the Routt County Climate Action Plan to increase the overall waste stream diversion rate to 46% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. A 2021 community recycling study conducted by the LBA and employees in Denver showed that the city’s recycling diversion rate was 9%, with construction and demolition waste leading the list of materials sent to the landfill.

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Nick Sharp of Rex’s Restaurant Family and business owner Steve Caragol attended a public input meeting Tuesday, January 24, to voice their support for a commercial recycling regulation.

“Rex always recycles and will always recycle,” Sharp said, noting that the company’s restaurants are already coordinating with neighboring businesses to share the landfill. Sharp said the proposed decree was “probably simple”.

Caragol asked city staff to provide several suggested waste containment designs that would work for all garbage haulers. Rebecca Bessey, the city’s director of planning and community development, said commercial developments built inside Steamboat should include screening from three sides for outdoor dumpsters and garbage containers.

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Commercial program, combined glass, metal, plastic containers No. 1 and No. 2 focuses on improving single-stream recycling for cardboard and paper materials. Current commercial recycling efforts are inconsistent in frequency, limited to materials that are diverted and grappling with high pollution levels, Archibald said.

Winn Cowman, director of waste diversion at the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, said commercial organizations considering recycling cited location, cost, complexity and separation time as some of the complicating factors.

Lacy Coupe, controller and vice president of Twin Enviro Services, said some businesses at Steamboat prefer the cardboard recycling-only service, but the more comprehensive single-stream service is about the same price.

DelliQuadri said one reason for moving forward with commercial recycling regulation is to consolidate processes and costs ahead of the state’s new Recycling Producer Responsibility Program, which should be implemented by 2026.

The new state law, passed in June, is intended to help fund recycling across the state through annual dues paid by manufacturers of products sold in Colorado that use packaging materials and paper products. Until July 1, 2025, a manufacturer may not sell or distribute products that use certain packaging materials in Colorado unless they participate in the program.


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