Local lawyer Rick Cofer serves as chairman of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Recycling Task Force. This task force is seeking to find different ways to pay for, and implement, consistent recycling around Austin. Currently, Cofer and his task force are finding recycling options “sorely lagging.” According to Cofer, recycling can be found at a few parks, but that the majority of facilities still have no options at all. “And if we’re going to talk the talk on recycling, the city needs to walk the walk.”
In 2009, the City of Austin passed Zero Waste, “A plan with an ambitious goal to divert 90% of waste from landfills and incinerators by 2040 using a whole system approach to evaluate and manage the flow of resources and waste created by our communities.” The Parks and Recreation Recycling Task Force was approved by the city council in June as a way to support the ongoing implementation of this plan. Up until this point, the council’s focus has been on waste reduction. They are now hoping to add comprehensive recycling and compost options to city parks and facilities.
Rick Cofer and the other members of the task force are currently recommending two different plans a one, and a two, year option. At the moment, recommendations are leaning toward the two-year option, it is more cost effective than the first one, it includes a lower clean community fee, and provides more time for planning and strategizing implementation. Both plans include budgets for receptacles, signs, and education, but also for the staff needed to manage the recycling program moving forward. Cofer points out that staffing is essential to ensure the collection of hard data in order to track the success of the program.
When he’s not spending time with the task force, Rick Cofer practices law at his own firm, The Law Offices of Rick Cofer, a boutique firm which opened earlier this year. With a ten year background as both a defense attorney and prosecutor, Rick Cofer now works as a defense attorney, specializing in several different areas of practice. The small firm takes pride in working very closely with clients on a personal level, crafting a unique defense to suit each individual case. In addition to serving with the recycling task force, Cofer supports the local community through many other organizations, including the Kind Clinic, Pease Park Conservancy, and Ending Community Homelessness Coalition. He has also served the Democratic party, both on the local and national levels, for more than a decade.