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Breckenridge Terrace Apartments implements Summit’s 1st residential composting program

The Vail Resorts apartment complex worked with High Country Conservation Center to create the program

Breckenridge Terrace Apartments on Airport Road houses members of the seasonal workforce for Breckenridge Ski Resort. The property recently began offering compost bins to its tenants.
Photo by Kailyn Lamb / Summit Daily archives

Fitness centers, covered parking, dog parks, community gardens — these are amenities offered by some apartment complexes. But one local property is adding a sustainable, eco-friendly benefit: Vail Resorts’ Breckenridge Terrace Apartments is now offering a food scrap recycling program to all of its tenants.

The program works like this: Each Breckenridge Terrace unit receives a food scrap recycling bucket, which was supplied through the High Country Conservation Center. Tenants fill the bucket with food scraps, including spoiled food, fruit pits and peels, coffee grounds and bones. The tenants then dump their food scraps into a food scrap pile located on the property.

The food scrap pile is hauled away for a fee, similar to a recycling or trash fee.



The project was started in March by one of the residents living on the property, according to Sara Lococo, spokesperson for Breckenridge Ski Resort.

“One of our resort employees who is a resident of Breck Terrace expressed interest in bringing a composting and food scrap collection program to the location, and it is through their passion and drive that the program was brought to life via the partnership of our environmental team and (High Country Conservation Center),” Lococo wrote in an email.



By the end of April, the amenity was up and running.

According to Rachel Zerowin, community programs director for the conservation center, this is the center’s first known residential complex that has implemented such a program, and it was made possible by a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Zerowin said the project was funded through a Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity grant. According to the department’s website, the program “awarded nearly $25 million to businesses, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and schools and universities to develop recycling infrastructure and promote sustainable behavior change in communities across Colorado.”

As soon as the team was awarded the grant, they got to work. The project was a huge win not just for tenants, but also for the community at large, according to Zerowin. Since the project was launched, other homeowner associations have reached out to the center to inquire about similar programs.

“Most importantly, it combats climate change,” Zerowin said. “As we keep food waste out of the landfill, not only does it extend the life of the landfill, it also prevents methane emissions, which methane emissions contribute to climate change.”

Breckenridge Terrace Apartments serves as employee housing for Vail Resorts, and it’s not the first property of Vail’s that composts or practices eco-friendly habits.

In 2017, the company made a commitment to reach zero net emissions and zero waste to the landfill by 2030. It also made a commitment to reach 100% renewable electricity by that year.

According to Zerowin, every bit helps. During the Summit Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, May 11, the conservation center presented first quarter data regarding its programs and initiatives.

During that presentation, Climate Action Director Jess Hoover said the center had finalized its electric vehicle readiness plan and that it had launched its 2021 Solarize Summit program, which offers residents and businesses a limited-time discount on solar panel installation.

In addition to launching and finalizing new programs, the center also works with residents and businesses to begin composting. Business owners who want to learn more about recycling and composting should attend a free workshop on the topic at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 13. Register at HighCountryConservation.org/calendar.


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