Senator Winter and Senator Priola presented Senate Bill 19-192 and distributed a handout (Attachment A). The bill creates the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise as a type 1 transfer in the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to promote waste diversion in the counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller, and Weld, and the cities and counties of Broomfield and Denver. The enterprise will be funded by solid waste user fees and governed by a 13-member board of directors. The enterprise has the authority to issue revenue bonds and is exempt from the state procurement code when engaging the services of contractors, consultants, and legal counsel.
Enterprise board. The board is required to meet at least quarterly and to report annually to the General Assembly by July 1, regarding the operations of the enterprise. The bill outlines the requirements and appointing authorities for the board members. Board members are entitled to a $50 per diem.
Increased user fee. Beginning January 1, 2020, the solid waste user fee increases from $.35 per cubic yard per load to $0.50 per cubic yard per load. This is an increase of an additional $0.15 per year until January 1, 2023, when the total fee will be $0.95 per cubic yard per load. Beginning January 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, the fee will be adjusted for inflation. The fee will be collected by the operator of the solid waste disposal site and may be passed through to waste producers. User fees will be deposited into the newly created and continuously appropriated Front Range Waste Diversion Cash Fund. Waste diversion goals. The bill establishes municipal waste diversion goals within the front range and directs the enterprise to provide technical assistance to achieve the following goals:
- 32 percent diversion by 2021;
- 39 percent diversion by 2026; and
- 51 percent diversion by 2036.
Grant Program. The enterprise will administer the Front Range Waste Diversion Grant Program to support efforts to reach the waste diversion goals. Local governments; nonprofit and for-profit businesses involved in waste disposal or diversion; and, schools located or providing services in the front range, are eligible to apply for grants. A grantee may use the grant for staffing, supplies, equipment, marketing and communications, policy research and development, community engagement, and programming and services related to the criteria established by the board.
Increased fine for littering. Under current law, littering is a class 2 petty offense punishable by a mandatory fine of between $20 to $500 for a first conviction, $50 to $1,000 for a second conviction, and $100 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent conviction. Beginning January 1, 2020, the mandatory fines are adjusted by the consumer price index and the amount attributable to the adjustment credited to the Front Range Waste Diversion Cash Fund. The enterprise, increased solid waste user fee, and increased littering fine are repealed September 1, 2029, and any money remaining in the fund must be transferred to the General Fund.
Committee questions followed.