A town with one of the greenest reputations in the country now has public compostables collection bins, through a pilot program launched jointly by the city of Boulder’s Local Environmental Action Division and Parks and Recreation department. Three-bin collection stations dotting Boulder’s popular Pearl Street Mall, a brick-paved pedestrian area that is home to dozens of retail shops and eateries, had traditionally collected paper in one receptacle, bottles and cans in another and trash in a third. But when the city went to single-stream recycling, it decided to explore utilizing the freed-up bin space for collecting compostables. A waste audit had indicated a lot of organics were going to the landfill, plus the city has a goal of achieving 85 percent waste diversion by 2017.
The initial pilot project involves collection stations at three heavily trafficked intersections. City officials say they want to support businesses that have gone the extra mile, and the added expense, to purchase and utilize compostable serviceware such as to-go coffee cups. A large number of these business had switched over to compostable takeout containers, but they were ending up in the trash because there was nowhere else for customer to dispose them. “It’s all about compost,” says Sarah Van Pelt, Environmental Coordinator for Western Disposal Services, which picks up and processes the Pearl Street organics after municipal crews deliver them to commercial collection containers that also dot the city. “They pay for them, and we service them.” The city of Boulder has had mandatory single-family curbside recycling since 2007 and incentivizes commercial composting through rebate programs that offset collection costs. “We produce over 20,000 cubic yards of compost a year,” adds Van Pelt.
Article from Biocycle.