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SOLID WASTE SOLID WASTE SOLID WASTE SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT Powered By Docstoc
					Larimer County
SOLID WASTE
DEPARTMENT




         2006 Annual Report
From the Director’s Chair
      Larimer County’s vision state-          You may remember that a few
ment (next page) continues to be        years ago we had to close our waste
the Solid Waste Department’s guid-      transfer station in Red Feather
ing light in our day-to-day opera-      Lakes due to the expiration of a
tions and in planning for the future.   land lease agreement. We are
To best serve our citizens and their    pleased to make available a new site
waste management needs, in Febru-       in the area, which opened in No-
ary the department purchased            vember. This was an exciting
property north of Wellington for        project that partnered the Solid
possible solid waste management         Waste Department with the U.S.
use many years from now. The ac-        Forest Service and the Colorado Di-
quisition does not stop us from         vision of Wildlife. Due to the coop-       Waste Department employees can
looking at other alternatives for       eration of all involved, we are once       be situated at one location. (Cur-
handling solid waste but reinforces     again able to service the Red              rently, several employees work out
the notion that we must continue to     Feather area.                              of an office in downtown Fort
plan for the future. Information              Another exciting event of            Collins and must drive back and
about the property and its potential    2006 was the completion of the             forth between the office and the
uses is available on our Web site at    hands-on portion of a waste char-          landfill.) This will save resources
www.larimer.org/solidwaste.             acterization study—basically a             and enable us to better serve our
      The Larimer County Recy-          “trash sort”—at the landfill. The          customers.
cling Center completed its first full   last time we categorized the content              As you can see, 2006 has been
year of operation that included the     of our landfill waste was in 1998.         a busy and productive year for us,
acceptance of both dual-stream          The recent study will provide us           and we look forward to many more
(presorted) and single-stream (un-      with data on what’s being buried in        years of providing for the solid
sorted) recyclables. (Previously,       the landfill that could be recycled.       waste needs of county residents
only dual-stream recyclables were       The actual trash sort was finished         and businesses. We will accomplish
accepted.) The change has resulted      in December, and we are now wait-          this by keeping the county vision in
in a 20 percent increase in recycling   ing for the results. The contractor        mind and by periodically asking
volumes for 2006. The single-           hired to do the study is one that          our customers how we’re doing and
stream option has given recyclers       visits many landfills throughout           how we can do better. Solid waste
more choices and has made recy-         the United States. One of the con-         management is all about making
cling easier for both customers         tractor’s staff commented that our         the right choices—reduce, reuse,
and haulers.                            landfill roads were in great shape.        recycle, and then if you must, land-
      The change at the recycling       Comments like that are, of course,         fill. We are here to help people un-
center prompted us to update a          appreciated, because our landfill          derstand their options and make
Garbage Garage Education Center         staff works hard to keep the landfill      the best decisions for them and for
display. As education is an impor-      and the roads used by customers in         our resources.
tant part of our solid waste man-       top condition.
agement plans, we make sure to                Our commercial customers
have the resources necessary to         also had good things to say about
keep the program up-to-date.            the landfill, as we found out from
      The household hazardous           their completion of a survey the           Stephen Gillette
waste program also remains at the       department sent out. We were ex-           Director
leading edge of hazardous waste         cited to learn that, based on the
management. Customers wanted a          survey results, the majority of our
cheap and easy way to correctly         customers are pleased with our fees
dispose of used hypodermic needles      and services.
(“sharps”). Our hazardous waste               Late in 2006, the Board of
staff researched this opportunity,      County Commissioners approved
and in 2006 we began collecting         the building of administration of-
sharps from the public.                 fices at the landfill, so that all Solid
                                    Contents


Recycling .............................................................................. 1

Hazardous Waste ................................................................. 3

Landfill ................................................................................. 5

Waste Transfer Stations ....................................................... 7

Education ............................................................................. 8

Environmental Compliance .................................................... 9

A Look Ahead ..................................................................... 11




           Larimer County Vision Statement
           Larimer County will add value to the lives of its
           citizens by:
           ♦   Building partnerships
           ♦   Being customer driven
           ♦   Empowering people to take responsibility
           ♦   Being a fulfilling and enjoyable place to work
           ♦   Being a good steward of public resources
                                        Recycling
      The adage in recycling is that          processed at our recycling center             The owner has a choice to make:
one person can make a difference.             increased 20 percent from the pre-            put all the cardboard in the trash
The addition of single-stream recy-           vious year. This includes recyc-              bin; get a Dumpster for cardboard-
cling (allowing the Larimer County            lables brought in from areas out-             only recycling; or get a Dumpster
Recycling Center to accept unsorted           side of Larimer County. Based on              for single-stream recycling and re-
recyclables) and the effect this has          only materials collected within               cycle newspapers, commingled con-
had on amounts of recyclables pro-            Larimer County, the amount still              tainers, paperboard, and more, all
cessed illustrates this adage. Before         increased by 14 percent. We believe           in one container. The latter option
2006, the recycling center accepted           that this is a result of making recy-         may also allow for the reduction of
source-separated materials (those             cling easier and more convenient              the business’s trash bill. The same
that are presorted by material type;          for both the user and the hauler.             idea applies to anyone throwing
for instance, a load of only office           Single-stream collection is also              away materials.
paper) and dual-stream materials              available to commercial customers.                  In 2007, we’ll review the re-
(typically collected curbside, this is              So what does this mean? Each            sults of the waste characterization
sorted into two streams: paper                person, family, home, business,               study done at the landfill (that
products and commingled contain-              apartment house, contractor, neigh-           measures and categorizes waste
ers). Now with single-stream collec-          borhood, town, city, and county               buried there) to determine what
tion available—allowing recyclers             must make decisions regarding the             we’ve been doing right and what
to mix together all recyclable mate-          management of their waste stream.             more we can do to divert waste
rials in one container—businesses             Each can decide whether to change             from the landfill. The Solid Waste
and curbside recyclers can make the           a habit of throwing everything                Department encourages everyone to
decision to recycle more easily.              away and make new efforts to re-              make a difference by considering
      Recycling tonnages were al-             duce waste, reuse materials, or re-           the 3 Rs—reduce, reuse and re-
most flat for the last five years. But        cycle items. For example, a business          cycle—when managing their trash.
in 2006, the amount of material               produces a lot of excess cardboard.


                                        ANNUAL RECYCLING TONNAGE

                        40,000
                        35,000
       Tons Processed




                        30,000
                        25,000
                        20,000
                        15,000
                        10,000
                         5,000
                            0
                                 19



                                           19



                                                         19



                                                                       19



                                                                                     20



                                                                                                   20



                                                                                                                  20
                                    9



                                              9



                                                            9



                                                                          9



                                                                                        0



                                                                                                      0



                                                                                                                     0
                                   3



                                             5



                                                           7



                                                                         9



                                                                                       1



                                                                                                     3



                                                                                                                    5




                                          As reported by recycling center operator (Recycle America Alliance).
                                         Includes only recyclable materials from sources within Larimer County.


                                                                  1
                                       Recycling




Larimer County works in close                          Single-stream recyclables collected in Larimer County are sent to Recycle
partnership with Recycle America                       America Alliance’s materials recovery facility in Denver to be processed by
Alliance, the contracted operator of the               a state-of-the-art sorting machine.
Larimer County Recycling Center.
Myron Coffin, right, is the recycling
center manager. Mickey Bailey is the
site coordinator.



Recycling in County Buildings

      The internal county recycling        ployees in their areas with recy-           their computers to default to
committee that was formed in 2005          cling needs and questions. We pro-          double-sided printing. Overall in
to promote more efficient and effec-       vide educational emails about recy-         2006, county employees recycled
tive recycling practices within            cling to the coordinators to pass           more than 159,000 pounds of typi-
county buildings continued its im-         along, and we recently had a con-           cally recycled materials (the same
portant work in 2006. The commit-          test to recognize efforts of those          items one would recycle at home).
tee conducted “recycling walk-             employees who go above and be-              In addition, most offices have bins
throughs” of each department to            yond when it comes to reducing,             for recycling printer cartridges; the
determine the state of recycling in        reusing, and recycling. In addition,        county has a resource for recycling
the department and what addi-              the committee encourages the use            rechargeable batteries; and we’re
tional needs could be met. This led        of recycled products when feasible,         currently working on putting into
to the placement of more recycling         and the default paper used at the           place an alkaline battery recycling
bins with instructional labels, in-        county’s print shop is recycled pa-         program. Also in 2006, a recycling
cluding new single-stream contain-         per. We also promote the use of the         presentation was added to the New
ers to allow easier recycling of           double-sided option in printers and         Employee Orientation (a monthly
more materials. Volunteer recycling        copiers when possible, by placing           event for new-hires), to be sure new
coordinators were recruited from           reminder labels on many of the              staff members realize that recy-
each department to spread recy-            printers and copiers, and making            cling is an important part of work-
cling information and assist em-           sure employees know how to set              ing for Larimer County.


                                                             2
                Hazardous Waste
       The big news of 2006 for the       at a local middle school, served 123
Larimer County Household Haz-             customers over the course of five
ardous Waste Program was the ad- hours. The Estes Park event was
dition of a residential “sharps” col-     atypical, with only 51 participants
lection program, begun in May. The (compared with 229 participants in
program offers the safe disposal of       2005). While the number of par-
hypodermic needles for individuals        ticipants was disappointing, the
who self-medicate. While it has           support from the Town of Estes
been slow getting started, as word        Park was encouraging, with several
gets out we anticipate that this will town employees helping. All of
be a popular program for county           them were willing to jump right in
residents. In the first seven months, and assist with all aspects of the
we had 30 participants. Initially, we event. The hard work of this in-
only accepted sharps on Tuesdays,         credible crew was very much
but in early 2007 we added Thurs- appreciated.
days and Fridays as well. The pro-              The hazardous waste program
gram is intended to help keep land- experienced slight decreases this
fill and HHW staff and trash haul- year in a few areas. We had about                 The hazardous waste staff includes, from
ers safe from exposure to needles.        1,000 fewer residential customers          left, Juan Felix, Rhonda Lauden, and
Participants must bring their             than in 2005. The collected amount Jeff Leleszi. Not pictured: Linda Hayden
sharps to the facility in OSHA-ap-        of regulated waste, such as flam-          (hazardous waste manager).
proved crush-proof containers that mables and poisons, was also down
                                                                                     Business Program
can be cheaply purchased from             slightly. However, the amount of
many local drug stores.                   non-regulated wastes, like latex                  The Business Hazardous
       Along with the new program,        paint, was up somewhat. In all, the        Waste Assistance Program and
a new face and a new look appeared program collected about the same                  Education (BHAPE) has steadily
at the HHW facility in 2006. Em-          amount of waste as in the previous grown since it began serving com-
ployees painted and installed new         year. (See charts on next page.)           mercial customers in 1997. That
shelving, brightening up the place                                                   first year, 73 appointments were
and making it more customer                                                          scheduled to dispose of waste
friendly. The new face may be a fa-                                                  through BHAPE, compared with
miliar one to many landfill custom-                                                  2006’s 211 appointments. However,
ers—Rhonda Lauden, who                                                               these days we have more repeat
previously worked as a land-       The hazardous waste building and Drop ‘n’ Swap            customers and fewer new
fill gate attendant for several    received some updating with new paint and shelving.       ones. While many different
years and more recently as                                                                   types of businesses are ser-
the education center atten-                                                                  viced by our program, the
dant, is now a hazardous                                                                     most common include govern-
waste technician. She joins                                                                 ment entities, manufacturers,
Jeff Leleszi, Juan Felix and                                                                property managers, and
Linda Hayden (formerly                                                                      churches. In the coming year,
Linda Case, hazardous                                                                       we will be working toward
waste manager).                                                                             better serving our commercial
       The hazardous waste                                                                  customers by enhancing our
program hosted rural collec-                                                                Web site, making it a more
tion events in Berthoud and                                                                 useful tool in aiding business
Estes Park this year. The                                                                   owners with the proper handling
Berthoud event, held in May                                                                 of their hazardous wastes.
                                                             3
Hazardous Waste

                                          Comparison of 2005-2006
                                         Regulated Wastes Collected
       90,000
       80,000
       70,000
       60,000
       50,000                                                                                                                                                     2005
Pounds
       40,000
       30,000                                                                                                                                                     2006
       20,000
       10,000
            0




                                                                                                                                                mercury lamps
                                                corrosives




                                                                                       poison liquids
                                flammable
              flammable




                                                             oxidizers




                                                                                                                poison solids


                                                                                                                                aerosols

                                                                                                                                                 & switches
                 liquids


                                   solids




                                          Comparison of 2005-2006
                                        Non-regulated Wastes Collected

       1,400,000             1,218,505 1,282,477
       1,200,000
       1,000,000
         800,000        304,944                                                                                                                                 2005
Pounds                                   99,220
         600,000
                 19,384 247,000                  72,645                                                                                                         2006
         400,000                         111,231
                     23,176                        45,930
         200,000
               0
                                                                                                        non-hazardous
                           antifreeze




                                                                         latex paint
                                             used oil




                                                                                                                                    batteries
                                                                                                           liquids




                                                                4
                                            Landfill
       The landfill again saw a
decrease in volume this year,                                                           Yearly Landfill Volumes
with only 759,921 cubic yards                             1,200,000.00
buried compared to 849,887
cubic yards in 2005. This is                              1,000,000.00

                                            Cubic Yards
not only due to more recycling,                             800,000.00
but also to some trash haulers
                                                            600,000.00
diverting waste to other land-
fills. With the lower volumes,                              400,000.00
the estimated remaining life of                             200,000.00
the landfill has increased; it
                                                                   0.00
should be usable until at least                                            2000     2001     2002    2003     2004    2005     2006
2029 based on current fill rates.
                                                                                                      Year
       In 2006, we ground up
2,392 cubic yards of tree limbs
                                                          and Christmas trees that had been         of the property (where our daily
                                                          kept separate from regular trash,         cover soil comes from). Two reten-
                                                          and then offered the resulting            tion ponds were built on the south
                                                          mulch back to the public free of          property to help with soil erosion in
                                                          charge, as we do every year. In ad-       that area.
                                                          dition, 4,817 tons of concrete rub-            Also this year, we welcomed
                                                          ble was crushed for use on the land-      the addition of a new full-time em-
                                                          fill roads. Landfill staff seeded         ployee, Chris Jones, and two new
                                                          about 15 acres of the north-central       temporary gate attendants, Trish
                                                          area of the landfill with temporary       Storm and Kristine “Ryan” Peters.
Concrete rubble is collected and crushed,                 seed, and six acres were perma-           Landfill staff now includes
and the resulting material is used to                     nently seeded on the south portion        15 employees.
stabilize the landfill roads.

 New Property
       The Solid Waste Department                         Potential uses include:                   • a composting facility to accept
 acquired a 626-acre parcel located                       • a landfill gas generator, which           yard waste, grind it, and then
 north of Wellington for future use.                         could replace the use of some            cure the product to make
 During 2006, we lightly re-                                 fossil fuels and create electricity      compost;
 searched options for developing                             for the community;                     • a bioreactor landfill, which
 the property. Below, we present a                        • a transfer station to sort waste          adds liquid and air to enhance
 variety of potential uses; however,                         for recycling and to divert or-          microbial processes to help
 a decision about the future use of                          ganic waste to composting sites;         rapidly degrade organic waste;
 the land is many years away. It’s                        • a bale facility, at which waste         • an ethanol facility that would
 even possible that the property                             would be compacted, baled,               change large volumes of waste
 will not be used for solid waste                            and sent elsewhere to a final            material into fuel, while leav-
 management activities at all. Rest                          destination;                             ing a very small amount of
 assured, decisions will not be                           • an incineration facility that             benign material behind; or
 made without public input. Until                            burns trash and creates energy;        • a leachate treatment plant,
 then, the property is being managed                                                                  which would ensure that no
                                                          • a biodigester, which produces
 by the Larimer County Parks and                                                                      leachate is emitted to pollute
                                                             biogas from agricultural and
 Open Lands Department.                                                                               local streams or groundwater.
                                                             possibly human waste;
                                                                            5
                                          Landfill
Customer Survey
       As part of the Solid Waste          very satisfied or were dissatisfied.         ployees, 93 percent said they agreed
Department’s desire to be customer               When asked if issues that              or strongly agreed; 3 percent were
driven, employees representing             arise are resolved satisfactorily,           neutral or had no opinion; and 4
each sector of our business formed         86 percent said they agreed or               percent said they disagreed or
a survey committee.                                                                                   strongly disagreed.
The committee’s first                                Treated Respectfully                                   Survey respon-
task was to develop a                                                                                 dents indicated that
survey for commercial         Strong Disagree 2                                                       the best way for them
customers designed to                                                                                 to get information
gauge their satisfaction             Disagree     4                                                   about the landfill
with our services. We               No Opinion    5                                                   (such as closures due
received 159 responses;                                                                               to wind) was by way
                                        Agree                                             101
results were mostly                                                                                   of a recorded tele-
positive and are sum-            Strong Agree                    46                                   phone information line
marized below.                                                                                        (our current primary
                                               0      20     40       60     80        100    120
       When asked                                                                                     method of disseminat-
                                                             No. of Respondents
about the fees charged                                                                                ing such information),
at the Larimer County                                                                                 rather than via the
Landfill compared with other land- strongly agreed; 14 percent were                     internet or radio. They also indi-
fills, 76 percent of the respondents       neutral or had no opinion; and only          cated that the most important fac-
reported that they were satisfied or one respondent said they strongly                  tor in choosing a landfill was loca-
very satisfied; 16 percent said they disagreed.                                         tion. Well behind location, other fac-
were neutral or had no opinion; and              When asked if they were                tors included fees, hours of opera-
only 8 percent said they were not          treated respectfully by landfill em-         tion, and customer service.

 Landfill staff, including gate attendants and heavy equipment operators, are proud to offer great customer
 service. They have even gone so far as to stop operations for a couple of hours so a landfill neighbor’s
 guests wouldn’t hear the backup beepers of the equipment during a wedding ceremony at the house.




        Landfill staff, left to right: Mark Clutter, Chuck Hansis, Chris Jones, Dave    Gate attendants Rocky Sanks and
        Stebbins, Bob “Dane” Nielsen (landfill manager), Jeff Boltz, Doug               Trish Storm. Not pictured: Donna
        Hoff. Not pictured: Bob Turner, Tony Kear.                                      Climer, Nancy Fleischhaker, Levi
                                                                                        Goedl, Kristine “Ryan” Peters.

                                                                  6
      Waste Transfer Stations
       ast Transfer St
      The Solid Waste Department        tion that accepts checks and
owns four rural waste transfer sta-     credit cards in addition to
tions—one each in Berthoud,             cash. The site is a welcome
Wellington, Estes Park, and Red         addition to the area for local
Feather Lakes. The transfer stations    residents. To celebrate, we
provide a convenient way for resi-      held an open house Novem-
dents in outlying areas to dispose      ber 2. Nancy Fleischhacker is
of their household trash. The trash     the new Red Feather transfer
collected at these sites is periodi-    station attendant (she also
cally trucked to the county landfill.   works as a gate attendant at
      The Red Feather Lakes trans-      the landfill). We are planning
fer station is new, having opened on    to add a recycling container
November 4. (We had to close the        on the premises in 2007.
previous Red Feather site in 2004.)           The Estes Park transfer
With the help of fellow staff mem-      station has been in operation Nancy Fleischhacker, transfer station attendant, at
bers Rita Trostel and Linda Oatney,     since 1983. During this time, the new Red Feather Lakes transfer station.
Ann Lujan (manager of the trans-        a third party operator, Waste
fer station program) worked hard        Management, Inc., has managed it.
to have the station opened on time      Estes Park residents and visitors
and under budget. The transfer sta-     can take their household trash as            Transfer Station Stats
tion is a partnership among             well as recyclables to the transfer
Larimer County, the Colorado Divi-      station. The site also provides a             • The Estes Park transfer sta-
sion of Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest   drop-off for household hazardous                 tion delivered more than
Service. The entrance is located on     wastes.                                          60,000 cubic yards of waste
U.S. Forest Service land and ends             Larimer County also manages                to the landfill, or 650 trac-
on Colorado Division of Wildlife        the Berthoud and Wellington trans-               tor-trailer loads.
property. Nestled among the pines       fer stations. Bob Adams, the Ber-             • In 2006, the Solid Waste
and aspen, it’s equipped with a to-     thoud transfer station attendant,                Department subsidized the
tally enclosed 40-cubic-yard com-       retired in December. Lois Schwindt               Berthoud and Wellington
pactor. It is the only transfer sta-    runs the Wellington transfer station.            transfer stations $11,917.
                                                                                      • It cost the department ap-
                                                                                         proximately $200,000 to
                                                                                         open the new Red Feather
                                                                                         Lakes transfer station.
                                                                                      • The Berthoud transfer sta-
                                                         Left to right: Ann              tion served 1,052 customers
                                                         Lujan, administrative           in 2006; Wellington served
                                                         services manager and            1,276; and Red Feather
                                                         transfer station                served 24 customers during
                                                         manager; Rita Trostel,          its two days of operation
                                                         administrative assistant;       this year. (Estes Park fig-
                                                         and Linda Oatney,               ures are not available.)
                                                         senior accounting
                                                         technician. All of them
                                                         helped the opening of
                                                         the Red Feather Lakes     Not pictured: transfer station attendants
                                                         transfer station go       Lois Schwindt (Wellington) and Bob
                                                         smoothly.                 Adams (Berthoud).
                                                           7
                                   Education
      The Department’s education         come a full-time hazardous waste              learn how a product is processed
program remained strong in 2006,         technician for the Department. Rose from the grocery store to the sort-
reaching out to thousands of             Watson was hired in November to               ing facility in Denver to the reman-
Larimer County residents and help- take over education center duties,                  ufacturing plant.
ing them become aware of their           and she has jumped right in to                      Although the Garbage Garage
waste management options (includ- make the center the best it can be.                  is our most popular educational
ing, of course, the 3 Rs—reducing,       Rose works closely with four Gar-             tool, it is certainly not the only one.
reusing, and recycling).                 bage Garage volunteers who help               Cheryl Kolus, environmental educa-
      The Garbage Garage Educa-          make our education program a suc- tor for the Solid Waste Department,
tion Center welcomed about 2,400         cess. Wanda Mayberry and Wally                occasionally presents recycling in-
visitors, including 318 drop-ins         Jacobsen have been with us since              formation to schools and other com-
(not part of a tour group) and 93        2003, and Dick Rush and Carol                 munity groups. In addition, we
summer class participants. Al-           Sarchet since 2005. Together they             hosted educational booths at five
though the total number of visitors put in 135 hours of volunteer time                 community fairs throughout 2006;
increased only slightly from 2005,       in 2006, and their enthusiasm and             continued production of our two
the Garbage Garage appears to            dedication are greatly appreciated.           popular newsletters, The Recyclone
have gained more recognition in the            With the county’s switch to             Times (in cooperation with the City
community, based on conversations single-stream recycling, we re-                      of Fort Collins) and The Landfill
with visitors and others familiar        placed a display at the Garbage               Update; distributed several press
with the center. The annual April        Garage that focused on presorting             releases on a variety of solid waste
open house and the “reusable art”        recyclables with one that depicts             topics; and updated our “Talking
contest associated with it were once the life of a recyclable item. Visitors Trash” video that overviews all of our
again great successes. We also                                                              facilities and is run on the local
hosted a fall open house in                                                                 cable channel.
September targeted toward                                                                          Cheryl has also appeared
teachers. Unfortunately, turn-                                                              on local radio shows to pro-
out was not as high as ex-                                                                  mote recycling, and in 2006
pected, but several teachers                                                                she began a partnership with a
did enter our drawing for free                                                              Colorado State University sci-
bus money for field trips to                                                                ence writing class to mentor
the Garbage Garage, with                                                                    one student per semester as the
three of them chosen as                                                                     student writes material for use
winners.                                                                                    by the Solid Waste Depart-
      This was the second                                                                   ment. We continue to partner
year we hosted summer                                                                       with colleagues at the Cities of
classes for kids at the educa-                                                              Fort Collins and Loveland to
tion center. The classes—in-                                                                help promote awareness of
cluding “Edible Landfills,”                                                                 waste issues. This year, we
“Where Does Garbage Go?”                                                                    teamed up with the City of
and “What Lurks Under                                                                       Fort Collins to produce a four-
Landfills”—were both fun                                                                    page ad in the 2007 Dex phone
and educational, and many                                                                   book entitled, “The Garbage
kids attended more than one                                                                 and Recycling Guide.” This
class. Rhonda Lauden, educa- Back row from left: volunteers Dick Rush, Wally                will allow Fort Collins resi-
tion center attendant, taught     Jacobsen, and Wanda Mayberry, with Rose Watson            dents to have year-round, con-
the classes.                      (education center attendant) kneeling. Not pictured:      venient access to landfill and
      In October, Rhonda left     volunteer Carol Sarchet and environmental educator        recycling information at their
the Garbage Garage to be-         Cheryl Kolus.                                             fingertips.
                                                              8
  Environmental Compliance
    vironment
  Environmental Compliance
       Efforts in 2006 to minimize the                                                         (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants        June. These documents, which must
landfill’s environmental impact and                                                            (HAPs). Landfill operators applied 1.7      be renewed every five years, provide
comply with environmental regula-                                                              million gallons of water to unpaved         emissions information that the state
tions were mostly routine, but unusual                                                         roads this year to control dust from        agency uses to set permit limits and
weather presented a few challenges.                                                            vehicle traffic, the most significant       assess fees. The new APENs show
Air emissions, erosion control, and                                                            source of particulate emissions.            that fugitive particulate (dust) emis-
groundwater conditions were affected                                                                 With a drop in the number of          sions are expected to remain at the
by above average winds, summer heat,                                                           customers, total annual particulate         same levels over the next five years,
and well below average precipitation,                                                          emissions were lower than in 2005. To       but landfill gas emissions are pro-
punctuated by a                                                                                                                                                       jected to in-
few heavy                                                                                                                                                             crease as more
storms. It was                                                                                            Fort Collins, CO                                            trash is buried
so dry through            30.00                                                                                                                                       in the landfill.
the spring and                                                                                                                                                                The land-
summer that                                                                                                                                                           fill’s Title V op-        25.24
                          25.00
2006 seemed                                                                                                                                                           erating permit,
destined to be                                                     22.07
                                                                                       21.03
                                                                                                                                                            20.68
                                                                                                                                                                      which also has a                          20.68
                        Total Precipitation (inches)




                                                                                                                                                                                    20.16
the driest year           20.00                                                            19.45                                                                      five-year term,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               18.2218.17
on record. But                                                                                             16.37
                                                                                                                                            17.27                     is set to expire
                                                                                                                                                                    17.34
                                                                                                                                                                                                        16.51
                                                                                                   16.03                                    30-yr avg                                                                                                   16.20
heavy snowfall            15.00
                                                               14.87       14.57
                                                                                   14.06
                                                                                                                           14.8015.39        (16.1")                  in 2007, so a     14.69
                                                                                                                                                    14.13
in December                                                                                                        12.40            12.85
                                                                                                                                                                      renewal applica-
                                                                                                                                                                            13.43
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12.29
                                                       12.13
added nearly                                                                                                                                                          tion was sub-                                     11.28                                   11.28


three inches to           10.00                                                                                                                                       mitted to the                                                     9.07


the total annual                                                                                                                                                      state in August.
precipitation.             5.00
                                                                                                                                                                      CDPHE’s Air
The combina-                                                                                                                                                          Pollution Con-
tion of drought                                                                                                                                                       trol Division has
and heat created           0.00
                                1977 1979 1981                                             1983 1985  1987  1989 1991  1993 1995 1997 1999    2001     2003 2005
                                                                                                                                                                      18 months to
poor growing                                                                                                      Year                                                review the appli-
conditions, mak-                                                                                                                                                      cation and take
ing erosion con-                                                                                                                                                      public comment
trol difficult, and kept local aquifers                                                    prevent the release of ozone-depleting before issuing a new permit in Sep-
depleted. High winds forced the land-                                                      compounds, refrigerant was recovered tember 2007. An official with the divi-
fill to close 22 times to reduce blowing                                                   from 1,492 air conditioners, refrigera- sion inspected the landfill in September
litter and dust.                                                                           tors, and freezers disposed of at the           2006 and found the facility to be in
                                                                                           landfill in 2006. The landfill’s gas emis- compliance with air quality
Air Quality                                                                                sions are currently below regulatory            regulations.
       Landfill operations were kept in                                                    limits, so control—such as by flar-
compliance with air quality regulations                                                    ing—is not required, but emissions              Water Quality
this year by monitoring and control-                                                       levels must be tracked using EPA-                          The two shallow aquifers around
ling emissions, record-keeping, and                                                        approved methods. As reported to                the landfill were monitored through-
reporting to regulatory agencies.                                                          state and federal agencies, 2006 emis-          out 2006 to track groundwater move-
Also, extra work was done to renew                                                         sions of NMOCs were estimated to                ment, evaluate water quality changes,
permit documents. Air pollutants of                                                        be 11.6 megagrams (Mg), well be-                and detect any new leakage from bur-
concern at the landfill include particu-                                                   low the 50 Mg/yr regulatory                     ied waste. With little precipitation to
lates in fugitive dust; ozone-depleting                                                    threshold.                                      recharge the shallow aquifers, the wa-
compounds like Freon; and various                                                                 New Air Pollutant Emission No- ter table dropped steadily throughout
components of landfill gas, including                                                      tices (APENs) were filed with the               the year, and seepage velocities were
non-methane organic compounds                                                              Colorado Department of Public                   even slower than usual.
(NMOCs), volatile organic compounds                                                        Health and Environment (CDPHE) in                          At the northeast corner of the
                                                                                                                                               9
  Environmental Compliance
    vironment
  Environmental Compliance
landfill, where VOC contamination was      erosion control strategies to prevent         quarterly in 2006, and regular testing
detected 20 years ago, water quality       silt from being flushed into area sur-        was conducted around each area to
continued to show slight improvement       face waters, but results were mixed           monitor methane gas and groundwa-
over time. However, testing results        due to weather conditions. With the           ter chemistry. Vegetative cover, a mix-
obtained late in the year revealed a       lack of moisture and excessive sum-           ture of native grasses and shrubs
need for closer scrutiny in 2007. As-      mer heat, revegetation—the most ef-           maintained on the closed areas, was
sessment monitoring—an extensive           fective method of controlling ero-            stressed by the drought and summer
level of water quality analysis that is    sion—was not successful. A heavy              heat, but it remained in good enough
performed once                                                                                                     shape to pre-
every other                                           Water Table Hydrograph                                       vent erosion.
year—was                                                                                                           In February,
completed in              5084                                                                                     erosion con-
October. Analy-                                                                                                    trol blankets
                          5083
ses for 229                                                                                                        were installed
chemical pa-                                                                                                       at a few loca-
                    Elevation (ft MSL)




                          5082
rameters                                                                                                           tions to help
showed no de-             5081
                                                                                                                   protect some
tectable levels           5080
                                                                                                                   steep areas
of sulfide, tin,                                                                                                   where vegeta-
mercury, semi-            5079                                                                                     tion has been
volatile organic                                                                                                   slow to rees-
                          5078
compounds                                                                                                          tablish. An
(SVOCs), poly-            5077                                                                                     inspection of
chlorinated bi-               Jan-96      Jan-98        Jan-00        Jan-02        Jan-04           Jan-06        the cover and
phenyls (PCBs),                                                    Date                                            drainage
or herbicides in                                                                                                   structures
the water                                                                                                          conducted af-
samples. Traces of cyanide and one          downpour in late August dumped one           ter the August deluge showed that
pesticide, however, were detected for       inch of rain on the landfill in a short      stormwater was handled effectively
the first time since assessment moni-       time, causing significant erosion in the without any erosion problems.
toring began in 1994. Additional            southern drainage area. Drainage im-
analyses will be conducted throughout       provements, including construction of
2007 to determine whether further           a new sedimentation pond in one area,           Steve Harem, environmental scientist,
action is necessary.                        have since been made, so stormwater             collects a groundwater sample.
       In the south aquifer, meanwhile,     management should be better in the
detection monitoring continued to           future.
show no evidence of contamination
from the landfill.                         Closed Areas
       Spill prevention measures and             The Solid Waste Department
stormwater management practices            continues to care for the two closed
were used throughout the year to           areas on the north side of the landfill,
prevent surface water pollution. In ad-    in accordance with state and federal
dition to regular inspections and main-    regulations. As the regulations also
tenance of fuel and oil storage facili-    require adequate funding for closure
ties to prevent spills, the landfill’s     and post-closure costs, the Depart-
above-ground storage tanks were            ment currently has $3.1 million set
subjected to special integrity testing     aside to assure that each phase of the
this year to ensure their soundness.       landfill is properly capped, maintained,
No spill incidents occurred in 2006.       and monitored for 30 years after clo-
       Landfill personnel used various     sure. The closed areas were inspected

                                                              10
A Look Ahead
      New opportunities await the      the public, as well as offer a train-   center for tires and begin to send
Solid Waste staff in 2007. We          ing room for our staff and bring        these unwanted tires to a recycler.
look forward to working more on        the Solid Waste team together at              The household hazardous
building partnerships, responding      one location.                           waste program will continue to
to our customers’ needs, empow-              Our recycling customers are       empower county residents to do
ering people to take responsibility,   always asking us what more they         the right thing with their haz-
being good stewards of our re-         can recycle. The results of the 2006    ardous wastes so that these ma-
sources, and making our depart-        waste characterization study will       terials do not get into our
ment a fulfilling and enjoyable        help us provide an answer, as we        groundwater. And the education
place to work.                         look at what materials are impact-      program, including the Garbage
      The largest upcoming             ing our landfill. We hope to divert     Garage, will introduce new
project will be the development        more from the landfill in the near      minds—young and old—to the
of our new office and training         future.                                 concept of waste reduction.
building at the landfill. A com-             A new landfill compactor will           The Solid Waste Depart-
mittee is currently determining        be purchased in 2007 to help op-        ment reminds everyone that each
ways we can implement green            erators compact the waste more ef-      one of us can make a difference
building practices during this         ficiently and use less air space.       and help preserve our resources
project and still remain within        Colorado has passed legislation         by learning about solid waste
our budget. We’ve been examin-         banning lead acid batteries, motor      management options and making
ing many innovative ideas that         oil, and passenger tires from all       informed decisions. Thank you,
we hope to incorporate in the new      landfills in the state beginning July   Larimer County residents and
building. Having offices on site at    1. As a result, the Larimer County      businesses, for your continued
the landfill will allow us to pro-     Landfill will become a collection       support.
vide better customer service to




                                       Solid Waste Department
                                          Mission Statement

                            The mission of the Larimer County Solid Waste
                            Department is to supply integrated waste man-
                            agement in an environmentally sound manner
                            to the citizens of Larimer County. Our primary
                            emphasis is on quality customer service supe-
                            rior to that normally found in the public sector.

                            We are committed to providing excellence in
                            the services we deliver to the citizens of Larimer
                            County. We will provide these services in a pro-
                            fessional, simple, and cost-effective manner,
                            always maintaining a high standard of ethics
                            and foresight and never compromising long-
                            range needs for short-term benefits.




                                                       11
Larimer County Solid Waste Department
              PO Box 1190
      200 W. Oak St., Suite 4000
         Fort Collins, CO 80522
            (970) 498-5760
     www.larimer.org/solidwaste
Printed March 2007 on recycled paper.

				
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