Sustainability Tip: Waste diversion in Eagle County is booming, but here's how to do even better | VailDaily.com
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Sustainability Tip: Waste diversion in Eagle County is booming, but here’s how to do even better

By Kate Manzer
Special to the Daily
If composting in your backyard doesn't sound like you, drop off organic waste at the valley's local facility, Vail Honeywagon.
Special to the Daily

Thanks to numerous waste diversion opportunities offered to Eagle County residents, businesses and visitors, the county’s waste diversion rate is better than Colorado’s average. We’re within 12% of the top five states with the highest diversion rates. Actively Green businesses do an even more impressive job, with a 46% waste diversion rate. 

As wonderful as Eagle County residents, businesses and visitors are at diverting waste, there is still room for improvement. Since the Actively Green Program has not certified many restaurants, the Actively Green Business Training and Certification Program will host a Waste Diversion Workshop for professionals in the food and beverage industry.

Here are three tips to help divert waste in your household.

  1. Donate before decomposing. The best way to divert food waste is not to compost it but to donate it to hungry people. There are ways for businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants to legally donate food within the guidelines of federal regulations. Luckily for Eagle County businesses, The Community Market will collect this food and redistribute it to about 800 hungry community members each week. Rita Mary Hennigan, The Community Market’s partner relations & sustainability coordinator, will speak at the workshop about the legalities surrounding food donations.  
  2. Choose your compost method. The second best option to divert waste in Eagle County is to compost food waste and other organics. If keeping worms alive in your backyard is not for you, there are several options. The most sustainable of those options is to send this waste away with Vail Honeywagon, whose compost facility is located right here in the Eagle Valley. Other options that will take compostable waste to Denver County and Pitkin County, respectively, include Waste Management, Alpine Waste and EverGreen Zero Waste. Nina Waysdorf, sustainability programs coordinator for Zero Waste with Walking Mountains, and Shawn Bruckman, compost operations manager with Vail Honeywagon will discuss ways to compost in Eagle County.
  3. Skip rinsing, but keep recycling. Improve waste diversion and conserve water by skipping the rinse before placing recyclables in the bin. All recyclables, no matter the waste hauling company, are processed through a rinsing stage once they arrive at a material recovery facility. Recyclables are perfectly cleaned by a fast and efficient machine before they move to the next stage.

If you go …

What: Waste Diversion Workshop for Restaurants and Food Vendors

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Where: Walking Mountains Science Center’s Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability, Avon

Cost: Free

More information: Visit walkingmountains.org/agtrainings or call 720-317-5558.

Kate Manzer is the Actively Green coordinator at Walking Mountains Sustainability. For more information on the Actively Green program, contact Kate at katem@walkingmountains.org


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