The Removal of Recycling Bins Brings Challenges to Old Town Square Businesses

Old Town Square has undergone a remodel, changing up the look and some commonplace necessities. However, since this remodel, recycling bins for businesses have been removed except for a few places to recycle cardboard.

This forces businesses to either take their glass and aluminum to a mass recycling plant downtown, or throw it away with everything else.

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A business that’s been most impacted by this remodel is the Fort Collins Food Co-op. The Fort Collins Food Co-op is a natural, local grocery store off Mountain Avenue with a rear entrance that connects to Old Town Square.

Stephanie Bublitz, manager of the Fort Collins Food Co-op, said two years ago there used to be a place to recycle glass, plastic, grease, cardboard and other things close to the business. Now, the only place the business can recycle is a bin located in an alleyway off Walnut Street. The bin is for businesses to recycle their cardboard.

Also, if the businesses choose, they can take all their glass and plastic to one of the recycling plants in Fort Collins.

However, Bublitz said this had made recycling largely inconvenient for many businesses. The trash bin fills up quickly with glass and plastic, and the cardboard recycling bin is usually full from the surrounding businesses using it.

“I’m just going to make a blanket statement here, but I don’t think any of the businesses are recycling anymore,” Bublitz said.

Still, the Fort Collins Food Co-op is making an effort to continue to recycle and stay green by making use of a Gallegos recycling bin and composting most of their waste.

Mikayla Caldwell, manager of Ben and Jerry’s, said the situation is unfortunate. Ben and Jerry’s considers itself to be an Earth-friendly business, but carting recyclables across town is not reasonable, Caldwell said.

They still recycle their cardboard but glass, plastic, and anything else must be thrown away.

On the other hand, a bartender at the Bondi Beach Bar, Avery Mazur, said that the remodel hasn’t necessarily impacted the business. They recycle cardboard, but everything else is thrown away.

He said there was a time when they had two Gallegos recycling bins in back of the business, but they only lasted a short time before they weren’t allowed to keep them anymore.

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Several other bars also said that the remodel hadn’t affected them much.

Still, Bublitz said because the remodel has made it close to impossible to recycle anything but cardboard, this means that other recyclables will end up in the landfill.

Fort Collins is supposed a green and environmentally friendly city, Bublitz said, but Old Town could be slipping away.

“I feel frustrated,” Bublitz said. “Because we can do better.”

Collegian Reporter Rachel Saurer can be reached at new@collegian.com or on Twitter @rachbethsaurer.