REGIONAL COMPOSTING NETWORK
EcoAction Partners aims to reduce waste through recycling, composting & education. As a starter program, EcoAction Partners is applying for grant funds to purchase and install 6 compost units that will be placed at locations in Telluride, Mountain Village, Ophir, Ridgway and Ouray – creating neighborhood’ composting centers. The compost center locations have been selected based on estimated usage, output and space available within existing secure areas.
HOW IT WORKS
Households would subscribe to participate in their neighborhood program, and take their food & yard waste to compost equipment located in bear-proof enclosures. On-site mangers will oversee daily operations at each site. Site managers and EcoAction Partners will compile and analyze the results to compare the different types of units, identify best practices for our unique high altitude environment, and address any challenges. The valuable compost produced at each location would then be used on community gardens, for local agriculture, or for carbon sequestration on degraded grass and rangelands.
This program is currently being launched in the Town of Ophir.
A successful regional composting network would achieve the following goals:
- Reduce landfill emissions – decomposing food in the landfill creates methane and carbon dioxide. Methane, as a greenhouse gas, is 25 times more dangerous in the atmosphere than CO2 (Source: US EPA).
- Reduce vehicle emissions – by removing food from the waste stream and processing it locally, many 70+ mile truck trips to the landfill would be eliminated.
- Benefit local agriculture – using compost in our local farms and community gardens reduces the need for chemical fertilizers by adding nutrients to the soil.
- Prevent Soil Erosion and Conserve Water – When applied to soil, compost helps loosen the compaction of heavy soils and helps soils retain water, minimizing erosion and reducing the amount of irrigation needed for landscaping or crops.
- Sequester carbon – recent studies have shown that applying compost to degraded grass and rangelands will sequester carbon in the soil. A perfect circle.
- Educate and engage the public and students in the benefits of composting.