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Vail Considers Mandatory Recycling For Town’s Residents, Businesses

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – The town of Vail is looking into making recycling mandatory, and the possible move could have implications for an entire county.

Karen right now there’s voluntary recyling like at this sorting center.

If the town decides to move forward with mandatory recycling homeowners may see a higher bill from their trash company, and businesses from restaurants to the ski resort will have to tweak how they do things.

“There’s always been some level of recycling in the town,” said said Kristen Bertuglia. environmental sustainability spokeswoman for the town of Vail.

“There are a lot of green-minded folks, and they’ve always recycled. And it really came from the community saying ‘Is everyone recycling? Maybe not,’ ” Bertuglia said.

Bertuglia is leading the town’s efforts towards having a larger recycling effort. Right now residents recycle at their own discression, but a city ordinance would drastically change that.

“Homes, businesses, the town, Vail Resorts, everybody is included,” Bertuglia said. “But for everyone in every corner to have to do it, it is a big step.”

CBS4 found several residents who are in favor of the new plan.

“There’s too much garbage in the world and we need to start taking care of the earth,” said Vail resident Beth Pizak.

“It’s monumental maybe for a place like Vail, but it’s done all over the country and all over the world every day, so I think it’s an adjustment period. But when people get used to it they’ll think ‘Why didn’t we always do this?’ ” another resident said.

One major hurdle is the type of recycling, because the Eagle County landfill doesn’t allow for single stream recycling. Users have to sort the cardboard out from the other recycling items themselves, and studies show that creates a 30 percent drop in participation.

“I think that’s a decision we’re going to try and work with Eagle County’s landfill with on right now. It’s a matter of if you can throw everything into one bin or you now have to separate the glass and aluminum from your paper and then cardboard isn’t picked up at the curb,” Bertuglia said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the Eagle County landfill doesn’t accept cardboard for recycling, which it does.

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