Join us to learn about a new EPA tool showcasing ways that local governments can move their communities towards higher levels of waste reduction, materials reuse, recycling, and composting across waste generation sectors. Also, hear from the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, a community that is charting a path towards zero waste, having successfully implemented several policies and programs featured in the tool.
EPA’s Managing and Transforming Waste Streams: A Tool for Communities enables users to explore 100 policy and program options, including 38 measures addressing organic waste. The tool illustrates different approaches to materials reuse and recovery objectives, whether in the form of enhancing curbside collection, adopting requirements, conducting community outreach, promoting infrastructure development, or engaging in product stewardship. It can lend support to local or regional solid waste plan updates or zero waste plans. The tool contains over 250 implementation examples from communities across the country, with links to city and county ordinances, contract language, and program websites.
Fort Collins’ journey to zero waste began with setting a goal to achieve 50% diversion from landfill and has progressed over time through a series of adopted ordinances. Learn what motivated the City to action and how it has ratcheted down on waste sent to landfill in an open market served by private haulers. The City will share information on its current requirements and incentives, outreach activities, and future plans.
Karen Irwin, Sustainable Local Government Lead, EPA Region 9
Karen is an Environmental Protection Specialist in the U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office. Her current position involves partnering with local governments and other entities to advance sustainability objectives in the areas of sustainable materials management and zero waste, renewable energy, and green streets and landscaping. Karen’s projects encompass developing tools and informational resources, providing technical assistance, and forming strategic partnerships. She served as project manager in the development of the Managing and Transforming Waste Streams Tool. Prior to her current job, Karen served in EPA’s Air and Water programs acting on local rules and regional plans to meet national air and water quality standards. She received a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Caroline Mitchell, Environmental Planner, City of Fort Collins
Caroline Mitchell works at the City of Fort Collins as an Environmental Planner. She is in charge of the data aspects of waste for Fort Collins and administration of the community’s Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance. She is currently working on a project called the Community Recycling Ordinance, which would expand Fort Collins’ Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance to the multi-family and commercial sectors and, in the future, starting organics collection from residents and food scraps collection from restaurants and grocers. Additionally, Caroline is responsible for the Waste Reduction and Recycling Assistance Program, or WRAP, which helps apartment complexes and businesses start or improve recycling programs. Caroline has worked in the recycling industry for 13 years, working for non-profit recyclers prior to joining the City of Fort Collins.