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City Council repeals disposable bag ordinance

Fort Collins City Council repealed the disposable bags ordinance Tuesday, while also developing a new Zero Waste Resolution. The ordinance would have required Fort Collins retailers to charge 5 cents per disposable bag.

“We heard our citizens and responded — the disposable bags ordinance is not the way to go,” Chief Sustainability Office Bruce Hendee said.

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However, as dumping continues in the Larimer County Landfill, Hendee said the Fort Collins community still wants to find “innovative ways” to approach recycling and environmental sustainability.

“Tonight, we accelerated that road to zero waste by suggesting staff explore some key techniques,” Hendee said.

The Council resolution detailed these techniques, which include spreading community awareness, constructing a new one-stop Community Recycling Center in 2015, pending funding approval and discussing an ordinance to increase curbside recycling and organics collection.

According to a press release, the City said more than half its 2013 waste was diverted through recycling, reuse and composting.

However, City Environmental Planner Susie Gordon said the next steps would be more difficult, requiring a shift from dated waste management methods.

“We will need to think hard about how we can prevent waste from being generated in the first place, look even more closely at finding ways of improving our recycling and organics composting that are convenient for people, and possibly explore further prohibitions on types of materials that really shouldn’t be going into the waste stream,” Gordon said.

Collegian Reporter Nicholas LeVack can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @NicholasLeVack.

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