Single Stream Recycling or “What is that smell?”
Recently Boulder’s City Council changed the trash ordinance to require trash haulers to provide at a minimum a 32 gallon container for compost. Western Disposal, the largest local trash hauler made this change in conjunction with changing the existing recycling program to “single stream”. You may ask “what does this all mean?”. The city had in mind to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.


Here is what it has meant for me and my family:


  • I can now throw the recyclable cans and papers into one large bin which is convenient.
  • It has launched us into the composting world – and it has been a change for us. We have been catching each other throwing items in the trash that should go in the compost bin. During the first two weeks we filled 32 gallons full and felt pretty good about ourselves until it was emptied and the residual liquid in the bottom of the bin was unbelievably smelly. Someone must have composted a dead animal without our knowledge. I have now cleaned out bin and we are back on track.
  • We have been able to reduce the size of our regular trash can and reduce our bill by about 1/2.

I think it is a great program but I’m very curious where my smelly compost goes. This is another example of how Boulder is just a little different than your run of the mill city. Just a few years ahead of the times – Just the way we like it.


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