The city of Denver hopes to expand the composting program, making it available city-wide in 2017-18, with the ultimate goal of removing the fee. Currently, we pay $107 a year extra for this service at our house, which is not a small amount, but we LOVE it. With 18 trees and a large corner lot lawn, we have a LOT of leaves, grass clippings and debris. While I have a small composter, it certainly doesn’t have room for all of the leaves & grass clippings, and I dislike having to use plastic bags to bag up and throw away perfectly good compostable materials, so I really love being able to fill up our huge compost bin every week. And the bin IS large, so it holds over 4-6 large bags of leaves or clippings! In the summer months, we fill it up nearly every week.
It sounds like only 10% of Denver residents eligible for the service actually use the subscription-based compost program, which I think is likely because it costs money. The city plans to increase routes in 2017 and eventually remove the fee and provide all homes with a composting barrel.
They say that 50% of what people throw away each week is organic, and can be composted. Removing 50% of the waste to be dumped at the landfill saves the city money and landfill space (not to mention TONS of black plastic bags!).Composting also reduces methane emissions while creating a high quality soil amendment that gardeners refer to “black gold.” Using all of our organic material to create compost that can be used to fertilize gardens and landscapes makes city-wide composting a win-win-win. Composting also reduces methane emissions while creating a high quality soil amendment “compost” that some gardeners refer to “black gold.”
According to the denvergov.org website, organic material from Denver’s collection program is sent to a facility run by A1 Organics. Compost from A1, which may include material from Denver residents, can be purchased at Pioneer Sand and Gravel locations.
Composting not only saves valuable landfill space, it is also good for our air and environment – it cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, and it sequesters carbon and builds soil fertility which benefits our plants and vegetables. I use my own compost instead of fertilizers, it’s free and it works amazingly. The worms love it. Composting is a win-win-win.