Colorado county develops waste diversion plan

Larimer County officials are developing a plan to be implemented once the county’s landfill reaches capacity in 2025.

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Legislation & Regulations Mixed C&D Recycling Facilities

Larimer County, Colorado, officials are developing a waste diversion plan to be implemented once the Larimer County Landfill reaches capacity, a report by the Coloradoan says. The 53-year-old landfill will close by 2025.

Northern Colorado leaders will recommend a plan in April, the report says. Honore Depew says in the report that the landfill is the county’s only publicly owned landfill and the outcomes of the project will determine how materials are handled once it reaches capacity.

Construction on the new facilities will take place between 2020 and 2025, the report says. Officials can go with any combination of nearly a dozen waste disposal options that range from a one-stop transfer station to waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities.

The options being considered by the North Front Range Wasteshed Coalition, a group of staff and officials from Fort Collins, Loveland, Larimer County and Estes Park, will put out the final report in 2018 that will list the pros and cons of each disposal option. The final decision will in the hands of elected officials who will also determine funding.

The options, from most feasible to least feasible, include:

  • Building a transfer station that would serve as a one-stop drop-off site for waste, recyclables, organics and construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Materials collected at the transfer station will be trucked to different disposal locations.
  • Building a new landfill on a 640-acre site near Wellington owned by Larimer County
  • Building a yard waste composting facility
  • Building a food waste composting facility
  • Building a processing facility for C&D debris
  • Building a clean materials recovery facility (MRF) that uses labor and machinery to sort recyclables.
  • Building a food waste preprocessing facility for anaerobic digestion.
  • Building a direct combustion WTE facility
  • Building a refuse-dervied fuel (RDF) WTE facility
  • Build a dirty MRF that accepts waste and recyclables
  • Do nothing

The report says the county can fund a large chunk the project, but new infrastructure may require increased trash pick-up rates, and municipalities may also see some of the costs.

Fort Collins’s is to divert 90 percent of its waste from landfills by 2025 and achieve zero waste by 2030. The report says Fort Collins offers recycling pickup to all single-family homes and includes a service surcharge to help cover tipping fees. Recycling pickup will be available to multifamily units and businesses by 2020.