Coloradans sent over 6.1 million tons of residential waste to landfills in 2019, recycling or composting less than 16% of all waste produced.
Sustainable Applewood is working to expand waste diversion resources and reduce our environmental impact by encouraging residents to use one trash hauler. Consolidating services helps reduce trash truck traffic and the resulting pollution, green house gas emissions, and wear on our roads, and can improve access to compost and recycling services – keep reading to learn more, and complete the survey below to provide input on this resident-driven, optional program.
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Did you know that trash trucks are some of the worst polluters? These vehicles are almost always diesel fueled, which contributes significantly to air pollution. In Lakewood, a typical residential street averages 10-12 trash truck passes every two weeks, and that doesn’t count passes for recycling pick-up. According to CDOT, a local street wears out 7,000 times faster for each additional trash truck due to the weight of the vehicles and their frequent stops. Reducing the amount of trash trucks on our local roads would reduce the impact from emissions and road damage – and promote quieter, safer streets with fewer trucks driving around each week. If more residents choose the same trash hauler, we can make these improvements a reality for Applewood! (source)
Composting has amazing benefits for our environment – it converts organic waste (food scraps, yard waste, many paper products and compostable plastics) to beneficial compost. Compost improves soil health and water retention, and by diverting waste from landfills, decreases the production of methane – a potent green house gas and precursor to dangerous ozone. Visit the EPA’s Composting page for more information about soil benefits and the US Composting Council to learn more about the climate benefits of compost. We included links below on how to get started composting – It’s not as hard as it seems!
Every 3 months in the US, enough aluminum cans are thrown away to rebuild the entire American commercial plane fleet! Visit the EPA’s Recycling page and Standford University to learn more about how recycling can help us save 50% more energy than creating new items from raw materials, and other interesting facts. Take the “Keep America Beautiful” recycling pledge and find more information about how to get started here.
For more information on the state of recycling and composting in Colorado, click here.
Backyard Composting Resources
Many people produce compost at home to use in their yards and gardens. Home compost systems can typically handle food scraps, yard waste, and non-waxy paper products. Meat, dairy products and compostable plastics are generally not included. To learn more, click here and here!
Curbside Composting Resources
Not ready or able to compost in your own yard, but want an environmentally friendly way to handle compostable waste? Many private companies provide curbside compost pick up services – this website summarizes currently available services by area. Interested in receiving information and updates about our waste management project? Click here and add your email address!
Household Recycling Resources
Most waste haulers offer recycling pick up in our area – learn about how to optimize your recycling here. And if you do not have curbside recycling pick-up, check out these recycling facilities in Lakewood. For difficult to recycle items (household chemicals and hazardous materials), you can use Rooney Road Recycling center in Lakewood. Paint recycling resources can be found here.