Aiming For a No-Waste Colorado
Colorado is a beautiful state. We have our majestic winter white mountain peaks, lush green farmlands of early autumn, towering waterfalls on summer drives and peaceful views of foothills beyond our back doors.
We love our state and most of us want to keep it beautiful.
We have highway adoption programs to keep our roads clean and our landfills are well maintained.
But we seldom think about the things we throw away. If it’s empty, outdated or rotten, we toss it together and never think twice about what happens to it in the end.
Some counties in Colorado are shooting for as close to zero waste as possible by 2025. But here we are in 2020 and we’re a long way from reaching that goal.
Of the things we throw into the garbage, 75% of is either recyclable or compostable.
The problem is, most of us either don’t think about it or don’t know how to establish better practices.
So, for the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging on the different ways individual households can change to make the most out of their garbage and have the least impact on the environment.
The Dirt on Composting
Compost is decayed organic matter used as natural plant food.
If you’re doing your own composting, you can use coffee (and filters), vegetable peelings, newspapers, printer paper, leaves and grass, and plain cardboard.
Fortunately, curbside collectors are a little more liberal in what they’ll accept. You can bring meat scraps, napkins and paper towels, pizza boxes and wax paper for collection.
These things aren’t suggested to compost at home since they attract rats, insects, raccoons and even bears. But you can bag it and leave it for pick up.
Make sure you use compostable bags, not biodegradable bags.
Both are supposed to break down faster than the other plastic we’ve become accustomed to, but biodegradable bags are simply plastic with chemicals added.
Compostable bags are made from plant matter and break down the way plants do in the environment. Pick ones that are strong enough to hold.
Here are some suggested companies to use in the Denver area.
Alpine Waste and Recycling has a landfill specifically for compost and sells it for use by agricultural and landscaping companies.
Waste Connections in Denver provide curbside compost pick up. Fill out a request on their website and get a quote.
Finally, you can sign up for a fee of about $30.00 every 3 months with Denver Composts at https://www.denvergov.org/compostsignup.