By: Camille Gonzales
Photo: Alyssa MacCall
Fort Collins is on track to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy but is behind on the quest to make deep cuts in how much waste citizens throw away.
So said Jensen Morgan, an environmental specialist for the City of Fort Collins, in an open presentation at FRCC about the city’s efforts to combat climate change and minimize waste. He laid out three plans for the community.
The first, the Climate Action Plan, aims to reduce our emissions by 20% in 2020 – Morgan said that Fort Collins has currently already reduced emissions by 14%.
He also said he thinks Fort Collins will hit its target. In the meantime, Morgan said that there is a renewable energy capacity coming online soon, but this is still to be decided. He said there are plans for an 80% reduction in emissions by 2030.
The second plan is focused on a mix of renewable and traditional sources of energy.
According to Morgan the goal was for Fort Collins to consist of 20% renewable energy. The city has already reached 33%. In 2020, he said the goal is to be about 50% renewable and, in 2030, hopefully 100% renewable.
The third plan is called the “Road to Zero Waste.” He said the goal is to have a 75% diversion of materials by 2020, and the city currently sits at 50%, because of this he doesn’t think the city will hit this goal. He said that global recycling markets have changed dramatically over the past couple of years. He hopes we reach zero waste by 2030 and is currently working on a waste-shed initiative.
“We have made some pretty impressive progress, but still have some ambitious goals” - claims Morgan.
He said it is important to understand community priorities. He said he and a team are currently strategically planning for fall 2019- summer 2020.
Morgan then opened the room to suggestions and discussions revolving around how Fort Collins could reach these 2020 and 2030 goals, with students participating. He said after the meeting, he and his team are going to use this student input when structuring the city’s plans.