As Larimer County grows, so does its trash

The current population of Larimer County is 324,122. By 2025, when the Larimer County Landfill at 5887 S. Taft Hill Road reaches capacity and will need to close, the population will have risen to 388,866 according to estimates.

Each of us generates seven pounds of trash a day and 2,500 pounds a year. Enough, if compacted, to fill a five foot by five foot cube. A year’s worth of trash for the whole county would create a cube big enough to fill the Court House block in downtown Fort Collins to a depth of 180 feet.

That’s why, 10 years before it is set to close, discussion is underway about how to best deal with municipal solid waste in Larimer County.

“The county, Fort Collins, Loveland and Estes Park have started looking into what solid waste management will look like in the future here in Larimer County,” Stephen Gillette, landfill manger for Larimer County said. Last May a regional coalition, a “wasteshed group,” was formed to solicit public input.

An initial day-long forum was held in October at Larimer County Events Complex at The Ranch in Loveland. Representatives from the county and Northern Front Range focused on long-term planning and a shift from solid waste management to resource recovery. A number of regional community forums will follow in 2016. Options will be evaluated in 2017 and 2018 and by 2020 a decision on a new landfill will be made.

Gillette explained that the county has purchased land between CR 9 and CR 11 north of Waverly in anticipation of future waste management needs. If CR 76 went through, it would be the southern boundary of the property.

Long-term goals of the wasteshed group are to reduce the environmental footprint and at the same time spur innovation and job growth in the area, according to information provided by Larimer County.

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