Solid Waste

Environmental Indicators

Solid waste is the trash that goes to the landfill. Part of what is thrown away is organic waste, such as paper products, food waste, and yard trimmings. These materials cause methane emissions when they break down in the landfill. These emissions represent about 4% of the community’s emissions and are easily combated by recycling and composting – two important actions that will help the City reach its Climate Action and Road to Zero Waste goals. 

Solid Waste Emissions

Solid Waste Measures

The following measures are categorized as direct or indirect. Direct measures track data used to calculate carbon emissions. Indirect measures show community trends that may impact carbon emissions but are not directly tied to carbon calculations. Some measures are not evaluated against a target and are simply informational. This is indicated when the status bar is gray instead of green, yellow, or red.

Measures

Actual

Target

Results

Direct Measures
ENV 139. Community Landfilled Waste
This includes waste generated by all sectors of the community: residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal operations. A decrease in waste is a positive trend. The amount of waste is calculated from information reported to the City from waste haulers, the Larimer County Landfill (information about individual self-hauled material), and City departments that directly haul material to the landfill.
149,890123,6282017
Indirect Measures
Community Solid Waste Landfilled per Capita per Day (in lbs.)
This shows waste per capita by dividing the waste landfilled by all sectors of the community: residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal operations by the Fort Collins population. A decrease in waste per capita is a positive trend and is a good indication of diversion efforts. Waste per capita is calculated from information reported to the City from waste haulers, the Larimer County Landfill, and City departments that directly haul material to the landfill.
4.924.222017
Residential and Commercial Waste Diversion Rate
This metric tracks residential and commercial waste that is diverted from the landfill through recycling or composting. A high diversion rate is the desired outcome for this metric. The metric divides the amount of waste diverted by the total waste generated (landfilled plus diverted waste). Data for this metric are provided by waste haulers, the Larimer County Landfill, and the City of Fort Collins.
26.20%62.69%2017
Tons of Yard Trimmings Diverted (Composted)
This metric tracks the amount of yard waste generated by the Fort Collins community and includes tree trimming conducted by the City’s Forestry Department, as well as the residential yard trimmings collected by hauling companies and reports of materials dropped off to Hageman Earth Cycle or other businesses. Higher tons diverted are desired. The City of Fort Collins, yard trimmings processors, and local waste haulers provide data for this metric.
9,523N/A2017

Solid Waste Initiatives

Initiatives are projects, programs, and positions that the Fort Collins City Council has funded through its budgeting process. Those shown here have a direct impact on solid waste emissions.
Sep-18
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Initiative

Status

Community Recycling Ordinance

This project was developed in 2015 and 2016 and adopted unanimously by City Council in September 2016. Staff is now working to implement the components of the Community Recycling Ordinance, which are:

  • All single-family residential service providers must offer yard trimmings collection service from April to November for an extra fee
  • All grocers in Fort Collins must have food scraps collected for composting 
  • By the end of 2020, hauling companies must provide all multi-family and commercial locations with recycling service, for which they may charge a separate fee.  


Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Sep-18

Community Organics Recycling Project

This project entails researching the policy options for collection of food scraps from restaurants and food scraps or food scraps and yard trimmings from residents of single-family homes. With the adoption of the Regional Wasteshed Intergovernmental Agreement in the spring of 2019, the option for a compost facility near Fort Collins has emerged. Policy research and outreach is anticipated to re-start in late 2019 and early 2020.   


Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Sep-18

Regional Wasteshed Planning

A collaboration between the City of Fort Collins, Larimer County, City of Loveland, Town of Wellington, and Town of Estes Park, the Regional Wasteshed Planning project assessed the infrastructure and policies needed to recover and dispose of resources from the member communities through 2050. The resulting Master Plan for Solid Waste Infrastructure was adopted by Larimer County in December 2018. Intergovernmental Agreements were signed by all participating communities in the spring of 2019.

The first element of supportive policy adopted by Fort Collins is flow control of mixed construction and demolition material, which will go into effect once the mixed construction and demolition material recycling facility is constructed by Larimer County, and will remain in place for a period of ten years. Fort Collins will also consider food and yard waste composting policy options in late 2019 and 2020. 


Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Sep-18

Municipal Composting Site

The goal of this project was to develop and operationalize a site in 2017 to compost green waste generated by municipal landscape maintenance and street sweeping activities at the City’s Hoffman Mill Road Crushing Plant (Streets Department). The project was funded with grants from the internal Waste Innovation Program, which paid for a dedicated tractor and windrow-turner attachment.  During 2018, over 500 tons of compost were produced at the site. Due to current permitting limitations on quantities of compost produced, the Streets Department submitted a preliminary request to CDPHE for a “Class I” permit. If approved, the City’s composting project could increase the amount of material it processes, and in addition, the Streets Department would be authorized to sell compost products to the public.

Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Sep-18

Wood Utilization Study

Organic material disposed of in landfills is responsible for a large portion of the City’s GHG emissions from waste and the inevitable emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle infestation is expected to kill most of the 70,000+ ash trees in Fort Collins. This initiative aims to assess options for alternatives to landfilling wood waste generated in Fort Collins, with a focus on large diameter trees (14”+). For this “waste” material to be put to best use, connections are needed between local property owners, arborists, lumber millers, and designers/builders. 

A CSU researcher is conducting stakeholder interviews to develop a survey that can further improve our understanding of how to reduce the waste of urban wood material. Recommendations in the final report will facilitate a practical system to develop local markets for diversion of ash trees and other underutilized wood from urban trees in the community.

Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Sep-18