Recycling initiative still under fire | AspenTimes.com

Recycling initiative still under fire

Janet Urquhart

A handful of business owners continued to blast the city today for pushing a recycling initiative forward without addressing the potential consequences or costs to be borne by the business community.

Members of the Aspen Commercial Core and Lodging Commission reiterated their gripes with the initiative in a sometimes testy exchange with Environmental Health Department staffers who brought the initiative forward at the City Council’s direction. The CCLC again urged the city to postpone implementing a recycling ordinance until its concerns are addressed.

Garbage haulers, meanwhile, voiced their own reservations about the initiative, but said they are preparing to work with it if it goes into effect as planned, in November. The council is scheduled to take up the ordinance again on Sept. 26.

The initiative requires the pickup of recycling to be included in the base rate that haulers charge to both residential and commercial customers for trash service and is expected to boost participation in recycling. The ordinance won’t apply to customers until their current contract with a hauler expires.

CCLC members Terry Butler and Stan Hajenga, both downtown hotel operators, again said the city has failed to address the increased noise that will result from additional truck traffic in the alleyways, as haulers pick up both garbage and various containers of recyclable materials.

“I’ve had people move out because of the trash ” the steel-on-steel noise,” Butler said. She suggested the city require centralized trash compactors in its downtown alleyways before tackling recycling.

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“There’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t get a complaint from a guest,” Hajenga added,

Restaurant owner and CCLC chairman Bill Dinsmoor has long maintained that the business community has no idea what’s coming or what it will cost to fold recycling into the rate for garbage pickup.

For more on today’s discussion, see Thursday’s Aspen Times.