Rick Cofer, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Recycling Task Force in Austin, Texas, says that there are significant challenges when it comes to encouraging people to recycle their waste when visiting city parks. While the Austin City Council passed a plan in 2009, Zero Waste Plan, not much in the way of progress has been made he says.
The goal is to keep 90 percent of waste out of landfills by 2040. The major problem, Rick Coffer says, is that the vast majority of Austin’s city parks don’t even have any recycling receptacles even if someone wants to recycle their waste. His team is now deciding between two plans to help fix this.
The first plan would take one year and cost over $1.3 million. Both the city and donors would help pay for this as would an increase of up to 31 cents on the monthly clean community fee. The other plan would take two years, cost around $802,500, and rely on the same funding except the fee would only go up to 16 cents.
Rick Cofer says he like others on his team, is leaning towards the second option. It’s less expensive and more realistic, he says, because of the longer timeframe. The money from either option would be enough to put in place 800 more receptacles and install 900 signs at parks about recycling.
Rick Cofer is a defense lawyer. For the past ten years, he has owned and operated his own law firm, The Law Office of Rick Cofer. He also once served as a prosecutor. He handles cases involving both misdemeanors and felonies involving both adults and juveniles. The types of cases he regularly handles includes domestic violence, theft, DWI, assault, and drug possession charges.
He says that each case is unique and should be handled in a customized fashion that meets the particulars and situation. Rick Cofer has defended thousands of people charged with crimes since 2008. He says that it is often the case that the most unexpected defense turns out to be the best one.
Beyond working with Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, Rick Cofer is involved in his community in other ways as well. He is on the board of three nonprofits with are the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, Pease Park Conservancy, and the Kind Clinic. He is also a leader in the Democratic Party and has worked on the local, state, and national levels.