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League of Women Voters of Boulder County
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News / Articles

From the Climate Action Team

Jeanette Hillery | Published on 5/30/2023
What is happening with composting in Boulder County was the subject of a presentation  by Boulder County Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann on May 12. The County Commissioners and staff are in discussion with a few interested parties, both public and private on the siting of a compost facility and its operation. One of the primary goals is to reduce carbon emissions, predominantly methane release. Although there are a number of small backyard farmers and interest from CSA’s, a large facility needs to be found to meet the demand for good quality compost.

In considering a site, one considers the cost of a site, land where at least 30 acres is needed for a large operation. To purchase this might require a bond. This will not be open space. It would include curbside materials, no human waste. As part of consideration might be regional approaches with Weld and or Larimer counties.

There is still a need to educate the public on what is compostable. This includes the manufacturers of “compostable products”, such as packaging, utensils and meal boxes. A1, the only composting facility in the region and is not accepting paper products or utensils or coffee filters in the waste stream, so better standards and truth in labeling is needed.

Dan Matsch from Eco-Cyle is a big proponent of composting as it would include carbon sequestration in the soil, enhancing soil and saving water. The more localized the facility the better the use.  Naomi Curland of Sustainable Resilient Longmont Zero Waste group works with community events, such as Cinco de Maio, to help educate the public on what to throw into appropriate bins.

During the past legislative session a bill was passed to study diverting organic material away from land fills.  There was also a truth in compostables bill.  But this is only the beginning of an education process for the public and producers of waste.

What can you do? Volunteer with Eco-Cycle when they are manning big public events at waste diversion stations. If you live in Longmont, consider volunteering with Sustainable Resilient Longmont at similar events. Farmers markets in Boulder and Longmont are good sources of education for you and the public. Educate yourself on what is compostable and bring your own container to a restaurant.

Look forward to further information on composting in Boulder and continue to advocate.