Superior hesitant to implement 15
The Superior Board of Trustees on Monday heard a presentation on a proposed 15 cent bag fee from the town’s Recycling and Conservation Advisory Committee. If implemented, Superior would join Boulder as the only municipalities in the county with fees on disposable grocery bags. 36 construction related downturn.
“The timing of this doesn’t seem right to me, just due to the current disruption to retailers due to traffic and construction issues,” Trustee Sandy Pennington said, adding that the town might consider promoting reusable bags among it retailers in lieu of an outright bag fee.
“I much prefer the carrot to the stick approach.”
Trustee Chris Hanson questioned whether the town should instead focus its efforts of disposable bag recycling. Recycling and Conservation Advisory Committee research shows that only 5 percent of plastic bags currently get recycled.
“Isn’t there a good opportunity to implement a recycling program, where we can get that recycling rate up t ray ban o at least, say, 20 percent?” Hanson asked. “That seems more likely, and more positive than maybe charging residents 15 cents per bag or forcing them to use bags they don’t want.”
Hanson and Trustee Debra Williams also wondered whether bag fees will drive Superior residents will shop elsewhere like Louisville and Broomfield, neither of which have bag fees.
Williams proposed partnering with Louisville and Broomfield on a collaborative bag fee program rather than going it alone.
Trustee Lisa Skumatz said fears of consumer abandonment are unwarranted.
“I would be interested to hear if retailers in town saw any more shoppers because Boulder started charging for bags. I don’t believe it happened, and I don’t believe it will happen between us and other towns,” Skumatz said. “If anything, this should lead to lower prices for groceries in this town, because prices should go down when retailers don’t have to pay for bags.”
If implemented, the proposed bag fee would be accompanied by a program coordinated with Superior businesses to promote and distribute multi use canvas bags.
Canvas bags last an average of two years and wholesale for approximately 65 cents.
The committee estimates that Superior businesses spend $80,000 each year on disposable plastic bags.
The committee reported that other communities that have instituted bag fees experienced a reduction of 70 percent to 80 percent in single use bag consumption. Such a drop would go a long way toward the town’s goal of 50 percent waste diversion.
Boulder passed a 10 cent bag fee last summer. Six months after the fee was instituted, use of plastic and paper bags fell 68 percent, city officials reported.
Aspen, Telluride, Carbondale and Durango also have bag fees in place. The Denver City Council looked at a 5 cent bag fee late last year but opted to delay the ray ban vote a year.
In Boulder, retailers get to keep 4 cents per bag to cover the cost of implementation, while the city keeps 6 cents.
Under the proposal for Superior, which could be implemented as soon as this fall, 5 cents per bag would go d ray ban irectly back to the retailer and the remaining 10 cents would be collected by the town.
Recycling and Conservation Advisory Committee spokeswoman Michelle Horton said the committ ray ban ee landed on a 15 cent bag fee because “it’s enough of an incentive that we believe it will make people think about going back out to their cars to get their reusable bags.”
Also, Superior Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Cracraft reported Monday that many of her chamber board members didn’t feel comfortable with the timing of such a program.
Monday’s discussion concluded with the board directing Horton and the committee to address the concerns and consider alternative conservation efforts to a bag fee. The committee will report back to the board at a later date.
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