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The organic material collected through the composting collection program is sent to a commercial composting facility in Keenesburg, Colorado that is run by A1 Organics. There, organic material is ground into fine pieces by an industrial grinder and then composted under controlled conditions.
So materials that you wouldn't normally put in a backyard composting bin, such as meat, bones, processed foods and soiled paper such paper napkins, can break down quickly in a commercial composting facility and contribute to making quality compost. After composting is complete A1 Organics performs a number of analytical tests on the compost, using an independent laboratory, to ensure the compost is a quality product before selling it.
Denver Recycles encourages you to continue backyard composting if you're already do so. You can still compost lots of materials in your backyard while putting your meat, dairy, grains, and food-soiled paper products and excess yard waste out for pick-up in your green composting cart.
Plastic is a serious contaminant for composting. All the compostable material is ground into fine pieces. When plastic is in the mix, we get small pieces of plastic that are hard to remove. Plastic is not compostable and will not break down in the composting process.
Traditional plastic bags made from petroleum are not accepted in the program as they can't be composted. However, there are compostable bags made from plants that are accepted in the program, along with paper bags. These compostable bags are plastic-like and waterproof. If you choose to buy compostable bags to use in your kitchen pail or green cart, please make sure you purchase the right bags. All bags used for compostables other than plain paper bags, must carry the official BPI logo (Biodegradable Products Institute) and be green in color to be approved for use in the composting collection program. The BPI compostable logo lets the composting collector and processor know that products with this label have been tested to ensure that they will compost quickly, completely and safely and being green in color makes it easy for the composting collector and processor to distinguish them from non-compostable plastic bags. (Of course, newspaper and paper bags are still an easy way to keep composting cleaner and to save you money.) Compostable bags may be purchased online and at some Whole Foods stores and Safeway stores. Call your local store in advance to see if they carry them.
Each compost cart has a unique serial number and each unique serial number is assigned to a specific address.
The 11-digit compost cart serial number is printed on the front of each cart in white lettering.
No. The time a driver arrives to empty your compost cart depends on many factors and may not always be the same. This is why it is important to set out your cart by no later than 7 AM, as it ensures your cart will be ready for collection no matter what time in the day the driver comes.
We provide weekly compost collection all year round, even during the winter months. Compost collection is on the same day of the week as your recycling collection but weekly rather than every other week.
Your compost cart collection set out location is the same as your recycling cart collection set out location.
Please call 311 (720-913-1311) or email Denver Recycles to schedule a repair or replacement.
The green kitchen pail is given to Denver Composts participants to collect food and non-recyclable paper in the home. It is designed so that you can easily scrape leftover food off of your plate into the pail. The contents of the kitchen pail should be emptied into your green cart. Do not put your kitchen pail out for collection.
Keeping your kitchen pail clean is simple. Make sure you empty it into the green cart regularly. You can line the pail with newspaper, a paper bag, or paper towel to help keep it clean. The pail is dishwasher safe but only in the top drawer; hand washing is best. You can also purchase small biodegradable, cornstarch bags to line the pails. Make sure you buy the right bags if you chose this option. All bags used for compostables other than plain paper bags, must carry the official BPI logo (Biodegradable Products Institute) to be approved for use in the composting collection program. The BPI compostable logo lets the composting collector and processor know that products with this label have been tested to ensure that they will compost quickly, completely and safely. For more information visit BPI Products Institute.
Unfortunately the funding for the compost program is very limited and supplying replacement kitchen compost pails not in the budget for this program. Metal popcorn tins or small plastic containers with lids make great substitutes. There are several types of "kitchen compost pails" for purchase online for a variety of vendors.
Composting carts are the property of the City and County of Denver. Each cart is assigned by serial number to an exact address. If you are moving, you must contact us to cancel compost service and return your cart. Even if you are moving within Denver, please do not take your compost cart with you, as this is still a very small pilot program and there is a very good chance your new address will not be eligible for service.
At this time we can only accept materials placed in the green cart, as the carts are emptied by an automated truck. We are looking to establish a City drop-site for larger amounts and sizes of yard debris in the future. For now, residents can find local companies operating yard debris drop sites by searching our Recycling Directory under "Yard Waste/Debris."
The green composting cart is designed to be pest-resistant with thick plastic and a tight-fitting lid. If you make sure the lid is always closed, then your composting cart should be at least as secure as your regular trash container or bag. If you have problems with bugs and rodents around your trash now, you may experience some problems. If you do not currently have problems with pests, you should not experience any additional problems with your green cart. Compost can attract fruit flies.
It is the resident’s responsibility to clean their cart. A simple rinse with the hose every couple of weeks should keep the cart clean. A great idea for cleaning your green cart is to use a broom to reach the bottom. You may also help keep your cart clean by lining it with newspaper or brown paper yard waste bags.
Please do not put paper items that are accepted in your purple recycling cart in your green composting cart.
Paper that is soiled and can't be recycled should be composted, for example greasy pizza box bottoms, newspaper used to wrap fish or used paper plates. However, all clean paper normally accepted for recycling should go in the purple cart. Although some of these items are compostable in small amounts, it is more environmentally beneficial to recycle paper items in your purple recycling cart.
Remember that paper plates, napkins, towels and tissues are NOT accepted for recycling in the purple cart.
There are no real environmental benefits to disposing of food waste through the wastewater system. In fact, it requires extra water usage to do so. Also, food waste can be the source of many plumbing problems. Disposing food waste through a garbage disposal increases the likelihood of clogs, especially if the food waste contains unsaturated fats, which solidify at room temperature and can build up inside pipes.
Placing food items in your green composting cart is a better alternative both environmentally and for your home. Backyard composting is good too, just not for the meat or fat items.
For questions about the Compost Collection program, please call 311 (720-913-1311) or email DenverRecycles.
"The Denver Com-Post" is a biannual newsletter of the Denver Composts Program.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE to download & read the January 2015 issue