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Zero Waste: The Dos and Don’ts of Composting

Posted: March 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm by , in Featured, Zero Waste

Almost half of your waste is likely to be organic material that could be composted.

 

 

If you live in a single-family home in Boulder, Louisville, or Lafayette, you have curbside composting service. If you live in Longmont, you have the option of getting it, but you have to contact the city to sign up.

You can also drop off compostable materials at the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder’s Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials OR you can take them to the Waste Diversion Center in Longmont.

Here’s what CAN go in your compost cart at the curb or at these collection centers:

  1. Colored paper. By this I mean paper that has been dyed so the color goes all the way through the paper. How can you tell? If you tear off a corner you can see whether the color goes all the way through or not. If the color does not go all the way through, then the color was printed on the paper and the paper can be recycled. Examples of colored paper that should go in the compost cart are construction paper, neon-colored paper, and goldenrod-colored paper.
  2. Coffee grounds and filters
  3. Paper napkins, paper towels, tissues
  4. Greasy or waxed cardboard boxes like pizza boxes. BUT if your pizza box is clean, put the cardboard box in your recycle cart.
  5. All food scraps including eggshells, meat, and bones.
  6. Yard waste, such as leaves and small branches that fit inside your cart.
  7. And certified compostable products. How can you tell if it’s certified compostable?  If it has a BPI, Biodegradable Products Institute, label on it.  BPI certifies both paper products and plant-based plastic products. Look for the BPI stamp on plates, cups, and utensils BEFORE YOU TOSS THEM IN YOUR CART.

 

Please be aware of what can NOT be composted. There are several consumer items that are “greenwashed” marketed as being compostable, but in reality they are not. There’s only one sure-fire way to tell if your product/packaging is made to be composted and safe for our soils: look for this label! The BPI label represents a scientific testing process that ensures these products will safely break down in a commercial composting facility.

Find out more at Eco-cycle’s website.

KGNU will bring you recycling tips and covering zero waste issues throughout the year in partnership with Eco-Cycle, thanks to a grant from Boulder County.