Diverted trash in Boulder nears 50 percent | SummitDaily.com

Diverted trash in Boulder nears 50 percent

BOULDER – Boulder residents are composting and recycling enough material that would equal about half the amount that ends up in its landfills.

A city study released this week has found that from January to August, Boulder residents composted 1,987 tons of yard waste and table scraps, while recycling 4,997 tons of paper, plastic and glass.

The nearly 7,000 tons of composted and recycled material equals about 50 percent of the 14,000 tons of residential trash that ended up in landfills during that period.

“We’re halfway there,” said Kara Mertz, Boulder’s local environmental action manager.

Boulder in January began requiring trash collection companies to offer curbside composting, while the city switched to recyling bins that require no sorting.

Up next? Allowing meat, bones and dairy products to be included in the compost bins. Those are banned out of concerns about attracting wild animals, but Mertz says a recent study indicates the concerns are not widespread.

Mertz says the city next year will begin looking at commercial waste. A study last year indicated that commerical customers diverted only about 29 percent of their waste from landfills.

The move is part of the city’s ultimate goal of producing no waste. Other environmentally concious efforts by the city of 100,000 include building a so-called “smart” electrical grid where homeowner monitor their energy use, use energy efficient appliances and feed electrical power into the grid via plug-in electric vehicles.

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