The Larimer County Landfill is reaching capacity and is anticipated to be full in late 2024. The North Front Range Regional Wasteshed Planning process is a direct response to the approaching closure of the landfill and the unavoidable change to our system of waste management it will bring. 

Representatives from Larimer County, the City of Loveland, City of Fort Collins, and the Town of Estes Park (the “Coalition”) have diligently been working together since 2015 with the shared goal of implementing an innovative, effective, community-driven system for waste management and waste diversion in the region upon the landfill’s closure.

PAC Meeting Agenda: April 4, 2019 

The Coalition was developed four years ago to plan for the inevitable closure of the landfill and respond to the environmental and sustainable needs for recycling and waste diversion. During the last four years, the Coalition has met regularly with key stakeholders and the public to ensure the development of the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan is holistic and addresses as many potential risks and benefits as possible. 

During the summer of 2016, more than 1,200 Larimer County residents responded to a survey regarding their recycling habits and attitudes. Survey responses and information from the Planning Study were used to design public forums, four of which were held in the fall of 2016 with the help of CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation. 
View complete survey report  -or-  Forum Raw data report

A Stakeholder Advisory Group met seven times between May 2017 and September 2018 to provide input and review technical and policy information produced by the Coalition. Over 50 stakeholders were invited to participate from key sectors including: the business community, academia, regional governments, waste haulers and recyclers, boards and commissions, state agencies, and advocacy groups. Coalition staff met directly with local waste haulers throughout the project to seek feedback and discuss impacts on their operations. 

Four open houses were held in May of 2018 throughout the County to educate the public about the topic and seek input on the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan.

After extensive analysis, a Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan was developed in 2018 to lay the path for responsibly addressing current and future solid waste management in the region. The planning process included an in-depth analysis of current and future solid waste volumes, emerging technologies for waste diversion, economic and market impacts, and potential policies to support new facilities. Development of the plan relied heavily on the engagement of local stakeholder groups.

What's in our Trash


After an exhaustive evaluation of all of the County’s different options upon the landfill closure, the following new facilities were selected as a part of an integrated approach for management of the solid waste in our region: 

  • New County Owned Landfill
    A modern, sanitary, innovative landfill will be built on a section of County-owned land in northern Larimer County (near the Rawhide Energy Station and west of I-25) and would predominantly accept trash from the Central Transfer Station. This facility will not be open to the general public.
  • Central Transfer Station
    Convenient trash drop-off location for both residents and trash haulers in separate traffic lines. The transfer station will send materials to the appropriate facilities.
  • Recycling Center (upgrades)
    Improvements to the existing facility that handles mixed curbside recycling. 
  • Construction & Demolition Waste Processing
    A covered facility that sorts out mixed loads of materials from building sites (such as wood, metal, and concrete, etc.) for beneficial reuse/recycling. This facility could divert approximately 120,000 tons - about 30% of our total waste - from the landfill.
  • Yard Waste Composting
    Windrow composting system that turns yard trimmings, such as leaves, branches, and grass, into compost, a valuable soil amendment. This facility could divert approximately 15,000 tons from the landfill.
  • Food Waste Composting
    An enclosed composting system that turns food scraps into a valuable soil amendment (compost). This facility could divert approximately 25,000 tons from the landfill.

 

New Facilities


Volume I - Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan

Volume II - Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan

Volume III - Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan

Planning Commission Meeting Presentation 12-2018

 

 

 

Larimer County has been anticipating the need for a new system to handle solid waste since the final landfill expansion in 2004, and has saved $40 million to go towards the new facilities – meaning this project won’t have to rely on resident tax dollars.

Rather, the facilities will be built using the funds saved by the County. The operation of the facilities will rely on a sustainable volume of materials sent to each. In order to guarantee the facilities receive the volumes necessary to maintain operational costs, an Intergovernmental Agreement has been developed to guide the programs and policies implemented for each Coalition member.

The proposed Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan calls for new policies and programs to be adopted by Larimer County and the surrounding municipalities. These policies will help send the appropriate materials to the proposed County-owned facilities and help ensure that they are financially viable.

Participating towns and cities would have the ability to develop programs and policies appropriate for their community to encourage yard trimmings and food scraps recycling at local private and public facilities. No new rules are proposed for how or where trash is disposed. These policies may include:

  • Flow Control for Construction and Demolition Waste (C&D)
    All mixed loads of construction and demolition debris must be sent to a County-owned processing facility for a period of ten years.
  • Flow Control for Single-Stream Recyclables
    Mixed curbside recycling must be sent to a County-owned recycling center.
  • Yard Trimmings and Food Scraps Diversion
    Municipalities would be able to develop policies and programs appropriate for their community to divert organic waste from landfills.

Cost impacts to existing trash collection services are expected to be small. Waste haulers set their own rates for collection services and will adjust their pricing as needed in response to new policies and programs. Disposal costs are only a small part of the costs to haul waste materials, therefore research indicates an average monthly cost increase of less than 10% for trash collection service.

The Plan supports community goals of sustainability - with potential to divert up to 41% of the current materials going to the landfill. The diversion of waste means that these materials can be re-used and we will not be filling the landfill as quickly, giving it a much longer lifespan. 

Implementation of this Plan would make us the first to take such strides towards meeting Colorado state goals of waste diversion and reduction.

If you have feedback on the future of solid waste management in the greater Larimer County region, please let us know. Check back to this site for regular updates and sign up to receive project updates by adding your information to our contact database.

General Information Email Wasteshed Project
Larimer County Solid Waste (970) 489-5762
  Stephen Gillette
Email Stephen
  Lou Perez
Email Lou
City of Loveland Solid Waste & Recycling (970) 962-2529
  Mick Mercer
Email Mick
  Tyler Bandemer
Email Tyler
City of Fort Collins Environmental Services (970) 221-6600
  Susan Gordon
Email Susan
  Caroline Mitchell
Email Caroline
  Honore Depew
Email Honore
Town of Estes Park Administration (970) 577-3700
  Frank Lancaster
Email Frank

FAQs

  1. The new system for solid waste management/diversion is not expected to have any noticeable impacts to your day-to-day life! Maintaining your cost and convenience as much as possible has been a critical factor to the selection of a new solid waste management system.

  2. Cost impacts to existing trash collection services are expected to be small. Waste haulers set their own rates for collection services and will adjust their pricing as needed in response to new policies and programs. Disposal costs are only a small part of the costs to haul waste materials, as an example, the City of Loveland increased the disposal cost to an estimated amount in their collection model which resulted in an average monthly cost increase of less than 10% for trash collection service.

    The reality is that the completion of the landfill will cause a change in disposal rates with or without the construction of new options. We have thoroughly evaluated many different options to ensure that the new system minimizes economic impacts while still adhering to environmental and social sustainability.

    For residents of Loveland, collection is provided by the City and therefore cost trends are expected to stay consistent with previous years. Maintaining your cost and convenience has been a critical factor to the selection of a new solid waste management system.

  3. No! Larimer County has been anticipating the need for a new system to handle solid waste since the final landfill expansion in 2004, and has saved $40 million to go towards the new facilities.

  4. With the change in global recycling market has come a shift in how we handle the materials. However, this shift has been met by a development in our domestic markets for recyclables. Recycling is still a very important practice! It is important to continue recycling so that as these markets continue to develop, we are able to divert the appropriate materials accordingly.

  5. Yes! You will still be able to self-haul to the transfer station (which will be at the current location of the Larimer County landfill on S Taft Hill Road), which will then send your materials to the new landfill. Existing residential convenience centers (Berthoud, Wellington, Red Feather, and Estes Park) will also still operate as usual.

  6. Flow-control is a requirement that all recyclable materials of a certain type be sent to a specific location. It helps ensure adequate amounts of materials are supplied to keep facilities running effectively and efficiently.

    No new rules are proposed for how or where trash or yard waste is disposed.

  7. Haulers will be positively impacted by the County landfill, which maintains a competitive market for landfills in northern Colorado. New policies are likely to impact haulers by changing the status quo for doing business. Communities will work with haulers to ensure new policy development and address their perspectives and needs. One primary change, flow control, will apply to mixed loads of Construction & Demolition waste (C&D) and single-stream recyclables.

    Though new facilities could impact their tipping fees for these materials, disposal costs are only a small part of the costs to haul waste materials (they also have overhead, administrative, truck purchase and maintenance, salaries and other costs aside from the disposal at the landfill or other facility). Waste haulers set their own rates for collection services and will adjust their pricing as needed in response to new rates and rules.

    This plan has been developed with the perspectives of all sizes and types of haulers as an important factor.

  8. If the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan does not move forward, the landfill will still close in 2024 but our region will not have a plan in place for the handling of solid waste. Rather, we will be forced to look outside of County lines for a landfill, which will lead to an increase in cost. We would no longer be in control of our fees or have facilities to recycle or compost.

  9. An opportunity to completely reset our system for solid waste management and diversion without requiring additional funds is incredibly unique and unprecedented in Colorado. As a region, we are incredibly fortunate to be in the position we are in, and for the ability to create our future of waste for the management and diversion of solid waste in our region.

Click a photo to enlarge.