Larimer County has approved its part of a four-way agreement that will lead to construction of a new landfill and increased ways to keep food, yard waste and construction materials from filling up the new dump. The county commissioners unanimously approved the solid waste intergovernmental agreement on Tuesday morning, and the Loveland City Council was to consider it Tuesday night. Councils for Fort Collins and Estes Park, the other two players in the agreement, will vote in the near future.
“This is a huge step forward,” said Commissioner Steve Johnson, noting that the waste disposal and recycling plan outlined in the agreement could achieve 40 percent diverted from the waste stream.
“To achieve that kind of diversion rate is amazing, and it will only happen if Fort Collins and Loveland agree to move forward with the goals they have supported the last two years through this process.”
Johnson was referring to the North Front Range Regional Wasteshed Coalition that, including representatives from area governments and other stakeholders, worked together to create Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan, which was adopted by Larimer County in December.
Together, the partners created a path for waste disposal, reuse and recycling countywide — a plan that will be implemented through the intergovernmental agreement. This plan includes construction of a new landfill north of Wellington and a transfer station near the current landfill, located just outside of Fort Collins on Taft Hill Road, which becomes Wilson Avenue in Loveland.
Other pieces of the plan, according to information from Larimer County Solid Waste Director Stephen Gillette, include a new recycling facility, a processing center for construction and demolition debris and a food and yard waste composting facility. Construction of these expanded pieces, however, is contingent upon the volume of the different types of waste.
The solid waste department is an enterprise fund that does not operate with any general fund money. Instead all waste facilities must operate solely on what they bring in while saving money for infrastructure and other needs.
To make recycling, composting and processing of yard waste, food waste, cardboard, metal, plastic and even construction materials possible, the county would need a certain volume of each matter to guarantee enough revenue. That includes 60,000 tons per year of construction and demolition waste; 6,000 tons of food waste and 30,000 tons of yard waste; and 55,000 tons of recycling.