28 JUN 13 | cycling and recycling

W8 UPDATE / 28 June 2013

with the young ambassadors from Finland

 by Ulla Lange, interior designer

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On June 25th I took my 12 Young Ambassadors from Finland to find out more about Boulder County’s unique approach to trash management. We visited Eco-Cycle’s facilities CHaRM and Boulder County Recycling Center, conveniently accessible mostly through the extensive and beautiful city bike paths.  Bikes were provided by Boulder B-cycle—thank you James Waddell and team! What a great way to travel around town without using one’s car.



What we learned at CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials)

  • it was the first recycling facility of its kind in this country
  • a new law that bans electronics disposal into landfills takes effect July 1, 2013
  • their e-Stewards certified partner in electronics recycling guarantees that no waste is just dumped into the third world
  • old sinks and toilets can be ground up and used for road base
  • inner tubes from bikes get upcycled into bags and other accessories by local company Green Guru (we’ll visit them next week!)
  • their Microbe Brew (made from worm poop!)
  • and…that you can recycle yoga mats here – only in Boulder!



What we learned at the Boulder County Recycling Center

  • recycling is not just about reducing landfill waste, it’s about saving natural resources
  • shredded paper must go into compost, NOT into commingled bins with regular paper
  • aluminum cans or plastic bottles should not be flattened
  • plastic bags can wreak havoc if mixed in with commingled recyclables, they should be dropped off at grocery stores or reused
  • recycled milk bottles make yarn used in carpeting and fleece fabrics
  • glass collected here is reused to make bottles at Coors Brewery in Golden





CHaRM photo by: Ulla Lange
all other photos by: Kathleen Ziff