More Benefits Added to Free Weatherization Program

The SMPA IQ Weatherization Program is an energy savings program for low to middle income homeowners or renters, with approval from their landlord. At no cost to participants, EcoAction Partners provides an energy assessment and free energy efficiency upgrades, which can include: LED light bulbs, air sealing, insulation, storm windows, new EnergyStar refrigerator, and now furnace or boiler repair/replacement.

After completing the IQ Weatherization Program, SMPA members are granted a subscription on SMPA’s newest 200-kilowatt Community Solar Array in Norwood. Subscriptions will allow access to a maximum of 2 kilowatts of generation per participant and will last five years after which participants may re-apply. This program will provide convenient access to solar power for income-qualified members, allowing them to save money by tapping into an abundant, local, renewable resource. Best of all, this opportunity is also offered at no cost to the member.
In order to be eligible for Black Hills Energy services, participants should apply through the SMPA IQ Program. The SMPA IQ program is sponsored by our local electric provider, San Miguel Power Association, in partnership with Energy Outreach Colorado and Black Hills Energy.

Learn More and Apply for SMPA IQ

Community Composting is Coming to the Town of Ophir!

EcoAction Partners is pleased to be awarded a State of Colorado Resource Recycling Economic Opportunity Grant for composting equipment for the Town of Ophir. This is the first of several neighborhood composting centers that will make up a Regional Composting Network - an EcoAction Partners program that aims to bring composting to the communities of San Miguel County and Ouray County. The goal of creating this network is to reduce waste through composting, recycling, and education. In the town of Ophir, composting will eliminate an estimated 16.5 metric tons of organic waste annually from the landfill.

“Despite Ophir’s high altitude, and more extreme climate, the Town of Ophir is a great partner to launch neighborhood composting”, said Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners. “Ophir is a tight knit community and the residents have expressed a strong desire to compost. They have a committee established to manage the composting operation, and local businesses will provide the appropriate green waste required for the process. I am thrilled to be awarded this grant to make composting possible for the town of Ophir.”

Two composting units will be installed in Ophir’s secure trash enclosure, along with “how to” educational materials and requirements to track data and keep the units functional. This neighborhood composting program will support the community’s goal of reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and becoming more self-reliant.

No landfills or commercial composting centers exist in Ouray or San Miguel counties, an area that covers 1,800 square miles with a population of over 12,000. All waste is hauled to one of two landfills in Montrose County, each approximately 70 miles from the major producers. A waste audit completed in 2016 as a part of EcoAction Partners’ CDPHE ‘Sneffels Waste Diversion Planning Project’ grant found that 35-45% of the approximately 13,000 tons of trash generated in the two counties is compostable waste.

It is estimated that composting 16.5 tons of food waste will reduce 25 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (mTCO2e) annually. Additionally, eliminating the trucking of this waste 70+ miles will decrease emissions by another 12 mtCO2e, bringing the total GHG emissions reduction for the Ophir Composting Project to an estimated 37 mTCO2e annually.

Composting in Ophir will be a first step in the greater plan for the Regional Composting Network in San Miguel and Ouray counties. This program is a goal of the Sneffels Energy Board, a region-wide group coordinated by EcoAction Partners since 2009 working to achieve Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction goals. Results from the Ophir Composting Program will be shared broadly at a local, regional, state and national level, providing vital information on how to effectively and economically compost in small mountain communities.


Heather Knox of EcoAction Partners Appointed to Colorado’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee


November 15, 2017 (Telluride, Colorado) - Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners, a sustainability non-profit organization serving San Miguel and Ouray Counties, was recently appointed by the State of Colorado to the Pollution Advisory Board Assistance Committee. Knox is one of thirteen individuals from around the state that was chosen to join the committee. The committee will work in concert with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board to oversee the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) grant and rebate programs.

The RREO grant and rebate programs play an integral role in developing recycling infrastructure throughout Colorado by providing financial support to: businesses, local governments, nonprofit groups, schools, and universities. To date, the RREO grant and rebate programs have awarded $11.5 million dollars critical to diverting waste from landfills.

Heather Knox commented on her recent appointment, “I’m pleased to be selected to serve on this State of Colorado advisory committee to be a voice for the western slope, and to help find solutions to the specific challenges that face our region for recycling and waste diversion.”

About the RREO Grant Program

The Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Act (HB 07-1288) created the RREO Grant Program with the intent to fund implementation projects that promote economic development through the productive management of recyclable materials that would otherwise be treated as discards. Projects that meet this goal are designed to implement recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, source reduction, and beneficial use/reuse for a wide variety of materials. Funds are awarded to businesses, local governments, nonprofit groups, and schools and universities throughout Colorado. The grant program is under the authority of Colorado’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board.

About EcoAction Partners

EcoAction Partners is a sustainability non-profit organization serving San Miguel and Ouray Counties. EcoAction Partners works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and tracking our regional progress toward these goals. Through a variety of programs, EcoAction Partners works with communities to reduce waste, increase local food supply, and encourage other sustainable practices.