Keeping organic material such as food scraps and yard debris out of your trash cart is good for the environment, and good for Denver. Denver’s compost collection program is a way residents can keep organic material out of the landfill and help Denver meet its recycling and climate goals. In addition, closing the compost loop and putting finished compost back into Denver’s soil provides an even greater environmental benefit. When added to soil, compost:
Here’s what you need to know about this exciting news:
Denver’s Own EcoGro™ Compost is a premium compost made from the food scraps and yard debris collected in Denver Composts’ green compost collection carts. Not only is this compost locally produced by A1 Organics and Colorado Proud, it also meets the United States’ Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) requirements for quality.
Collecting compostable material in green compost carts is the first step of composting, but it’s important to remember that using the compost made from the materials collected in Denver’s green carts is just as important in the composting process. Without creating demand for the finished compost generated by the materials collected in Denver, the Denver Composts program isn’t completing the process. By putting compost in bags and making them available for purchase at local Ace Hardware stores, we hope to make the benefits of compost more accessible while also making it easier to close the loop and put Denver’s compostable materials to better use in Denver’s soil (and not Denver’s landfill!).
There are many reasons to use compost, and even more reasons to use local compost. Using compost that’s made from food scraps and yard debris collected from Denver’s green compost carts supports the local compost industry and closes the compost loop, locally. Ultimately, using this compost ensures that waste generated in Denver can be used as a resource in Denver to help our soil and plants thrive.
Unfortunately, no. While we did try to come up with ways to avoid single-use plastic to package this compost, we were unable to come up with an alternative option that worked within the existing supply chain. The bag itself is not compostable and, plastic bags are never accepted in Denver’s purple recycle carts. While some forms of clean and dry plastic bags such as grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags, etc. are accepted at select grocery stores and box stores (in special collection containers), the bags used to package this compost are not an acceptable form of plastic for these programs. Consider repurposing or otherwise reusing these bags if you can. After that, they should be placed in your trash cart. Please note that we are actively looking for alternatives to these plastic bags for the future.
The fees collected for the Denver Composts program cover the costs of providing customers with a green compost collection cart and kitchen pail, and the cost of collecting organic material from Denver homes, transporting this material to the compost processor, and the composting process itself. If Denver Composts were to offer compost to program participants, this cost would have to be passed along to the consumer in the form of a higher subscription fee. To keep costs as low as possible for participants, Denver Recycles has chosen to not provide finished compost to its customers free of charge. Denver Composts' customers may purchase discounted bulk and pre-bagged compost at the annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale on the first Saturday in May. Pre-bagged Denver’s Own EcoGro™ Compost is also now available at participating Ace Hardware stores.
The Denver’s Own EcoGro™ product is made from materials collected in Denver’s green compost cart (food scraps, yard debris, and non-recyclable paper) as well as materials from other similar municipal and commercial sources.
This compost is ideal for many applications. It can be used to amend soil in flower and vegetable gardens, used to top-dress lawns, incorporated into soil around trees and shrubs, and even used as part of the potting mix for house plants. Detailed use instructions can be found on the back of each bag and also online at DenverGov.org/Compost.
Yes! While “Denver” is in the title, this compost can and should be used by everyone! Denver’s Own EcoGro™ Compost is a Colorado Proud product and meets the United States Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance standards. It’s a high-quality compost fit for anyone, anywhere.
|Flowers and vegetable gardens||Mix 1-2" into the first 6-8" of soil||Apply 1-2" to planting area at start of growing season|
|Lawns||Mix 1-2" into the first 6-8" of soil||Annually: apply a 1/4" layer before or after core aeration|
|Trees and shrubs||Use 1 part compost to 2-3 parts soil to backfill planting hole||Apply 1-2" over soil surface of bed in the Spring or Fall (or both)|
|House plants||Add up to 20% compost into potting mix||Spread 2-3 tablespoons on the surface of the potting soil|