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Did you know?
Businesses in Boulder recycle and compost only 28% of their trash, according to the most recent city data. Single-family homes recycle and compost 60% of their waste.
For every one bag of trash Boulder homes send to the landfill, Boulder businesses send three.
Recycling and composting are one of the fastest, cheapest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If we want to get serious about preventing methane and carbon emissions, we need everyone’s participation. Citizens, businesses, organizations and policy makers all have a role to play in achieving our climate and Zero Waste goals.
Let’s work together to lower our carbon and methane footprint by requiring Boulder businesses to do better.
We need YOU to make it happen.
The Boulder City Council is adopting a new Zero Waste Plan. Here's how we think Boulder can best reach its Zero Waste and climate goals?
Developing a Local Public Compost Facility—composting reduces the greatest number of tons going to the landfill and avoids methane gas emissions. Currently, there is no infrastructure in Boulder County to take all of our organic material. We need a local composting facility that supports all haulers equally.
Expand the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) and ReSource facilities at 6400 Arapahoe—“Problem wastes” such as electronics, appliances, furniture and matresses are 15% of Boulder County’s waste stream. Expanding the CHaRM will allow Eco-Cycle to recycle more of these materials and both Eco-Cycle and ReSource can add new re-use programs such as fix-it clinics.
Build a Construction and Demolition Transfer Station—there is no place in the county for contractors and builders to recycle construction and demolition materials such as concrete, asphalt, ceiling tiles and wood. A “C&D” transfer station would greatly increase the our community’s abilities to recycle valuable building materials and save resources.
Expand and upgrade the Boulder County Recycling Center—expansion and upgrades will enable the center to accommodate additional material from businesses and allow the community to recycle more types of plastics such as berry tubs and “clam shells.”
Expand Public Outreach and Education Efforts—don’t divert zero waste education funding to other programs. Educating and engaging the younger generation is one of the most effective ways to change behavior in the household. The city should double its investment in school-based education and services through Eco-Cycle’s Green Star Schools program.
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Learn more about Business Recycling in Boulder
Boulder is a leader with its Zero Waste Master Plan and many of its Zero Waste programs, but we’re falling behind on achieving our goals and other cities are proving we could be doing a LOT better.
Leading communities are recovering more than 60% of their waste and pushing toward 70%, even 80%!
Leading US communities require businesses to recycle as a key strategy toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving toward Zero Waste. Businesses in Seattle lead the way by recycling and composting more than 60% of their waste! That’s nearly twice as much as Boulder businesses.
Click on the map to learn more about leading cities around the US and the policies they use to increase business recycling.
There are a LOT of businesses in Boulder that are leading the way toward Zero Waste by recycling, composting, reusing materials, rethinking their purchasing practices and refusing to accept waste as “normal.” Western Disposal recognizes local businesses with its Excellence in Waste Diversion Awards while Eco-Cycle has a list of its Zero Waste Business Partners.
These businesses ROCK, and we owe them a lot for their voluntary efforts to help build a sustainable Boulder. It's time we get every business on board!
It’s time every business in Boulder did at least the bare minimum when it comes to recycling.
Education and financial incentives are a great way to boost recycling rates, and the City of Boulder, Boulder County and Eco-Cycle have provided this to businesses for 25 years. It’s brought us where we are today, and we’re thankful for the great work that’s been done so far.
But around the world and here at home we’re seeing that voluntary programs can only deliver so much change. A policy approach can be more cost-effective and have a far larger impact, and we don’t think Boulder can reach its Climate Action Plan goals or its Zero Waste Master Plan goals without a policy on business recycling.
Most communities rely upon education, rather than strict policing, to let businesses know about the new policy and help them set up their bins, train their staff, and improve their programs. There is usually an adjustment period of 18-24 months before any enforcement happens.
Businesses aren’t fined if there is a single cardboard box in their trash dumpster. The goal is to work with businesses and recycling haulers to find the right program for everyone and use enforcement only when a business refuses to participate or excessively contaminates recycling bins even after several attempts at education and assistance.
Want to know more?
We’d love to talk more about our campaign goals, what other cities have done, the details of a recycling policy, or anything else related to recycling and climate change. Please feel free to reach out to our Community Campaigns Manager, Randy Moorman, via email or at 303.444.6634.