Longmont, Colorado, receives state grant to buy compost collection carts

The Colorado Department of Public Heath awarded the city a $70,022.56 grant to purchase 1,000 residential curbside compost collection carts.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity program has awarded the city of Longmont a $70,022.56 grant the city will use to purchase 1,000 residential curbside compost collection carts.

That purchase, and continuing city promotion of its program to have homes opt in to the compost collections service, will help Longmont meet its waste reduction and diversion goals, reports the Times-Call.

“The city has established a goal of a 50 percent waste diversion rate by 2025 for its residential waste stream. To reach that diversion goal, the city aims to increase the current residential composting customer participation rate from 21.8 percent to 25 percent. This project will support the city’s efforts to increase resident participation in its voluntary opt-in curbside composting service to help meet Longmont’s waste diversion and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals,” city staff said in a memo to the city council.

City staff said Longmont’s state-funded composting cart expansion program, with the residents’ compost picked up for collection by the city’s renewable natural gas-powered collection fleet, will also contribute toward meeting Boulder County’s and the state’s waste diversion and GHG emission reduction goals.

The providing of the 1,000 compost carts to Longmont households “will be accompanied by promotional and outreach efforts to educate current and new users in composting best practices to optimize the quality of compostable material,” the Times-Call reports, particularly allowing the city to help meet peak spring/summer new customer demand.

Charles Kamenides, the city’s waste services manager, said that Longmont now has 23 percent of its residential households—6,865 out of the 29,756 municipal solid waste customers eligible to opt into the curbside compostable materials collections—signed up and subscribing to the service.

“New compost service sign-ups vary from year to year, but we have experienced between 600 to 900 new service activations per year since the start of the program in 2017,” Kamenides said.

Under Longmont’s opt-in program, the city’s solid waste collections customers pay $6.60 a month for curbside collections residents have put into the compost bins—collections that city crews make every other week. Kamenides has said that in 2020, Longmont picked up almost 2,460 tons of compostable materials containers.

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