Climate Action Collaborative

America Recycles Day

Posted by Walking Mountains Sustainability on Aug 5, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Introducing the Official Eagle County Recycling Guide

The Climate Action Collaborative is launching our first Bi-Annual Recycling Education Blitz for the Eagle County Community. We are spelling out in perfect clarity (with pictures included) what can ALWAYS go in your recycle bin and what can NEVER EVER go in your recycle bin. We’ll also include some info on those sneaky things that can sometimes maybe be recycled if you’re wearing a blue shirt, it’s a Tuesday, and it’s not raining (JK I promise it doesn’t get that complex). And we'll let you know every 6 months if there have been any changes to the rules, so you can keep on top of your recycling game! 
 
View and Download the Guide to Print Below

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ENGLISH VERSIONSPANISH VERSION

 

Eager for more?
We've written a suite of articles that address the most common questions about recycling.
  1. What do the "Plastic Numbers" actually mean?
  2. The recycling industry IS NOT dead
  3. Why are the rules always changing? Recycling is a commodities market
  4. The plastic problem
  5. The real environmental benefit of recycling
  6. Recycling does't just reduce waste, it saves energy!
 
In the interim between updates, the Eagle County Waste Wizard app is a perfect tool to answer all the questions you have on recycling. Find the answers to all your specific recycling questions at any time and have access to Walking Mountains recycling resources at the tip of your fingers! 
 
Download the app, check out our Recycling Update, and start recycling right!
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Topics: Recycling, Waste Update

Plastics: A Solution and a Curse

Posted by Jake Watroba on Jul 19, 2019 12:14:11 PM

“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw something away it must go somewhere.” -Annie Leonard

Plastics, or more scientifically understood as “polymers,” truly have an interesting relationship with humanity. This material can be molded into almost anything and was first created to be a benefit to the environment. There was an international call in the late 1800s to develop a substitute for ivory which was meant to stop the hunting of elephants and turtles, and plastic became the answer. What then transpired after over the last 100 or more years has been tremendous, yet unpredictable. Plastic is now one of, if not, the most widely used materials in the packaging and production of goods throughout the world, and it has improved and touched the lives of just about everyone around the globe.

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Topics: Recycling, Waste Update

The Recycling Industry is not Dead

Posted by Miki Salamon on Jul 19, 2019 12:05:25 PM

Recycling is far from dead and in Colorado it's alive and thriving!

Each year, millions of Americans take their plastic, glass, and cardboard items and toss them into their local recycling bin in hopes that these materials will one day be reused and turned into something new. While recycling has commonly been seen as a “quick fix” solution to waste, there has recently been talk on whether recycling is still a viable solution for the masses.

Originally becoming well known and popular in the environmental movement of the 1970’s, recycling has been the go-to solution to dealing with waste and material use. However, with the steady increase in the human population, there has also been an increase in the amount of waste being generated. This boost of consumption, especially for products such as plastic, paired alongside China announcing that they will no longer accept mixed plastic and mixed paper from Western countries has no doubt generated some worry and fear among people about the future of recycling. 

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Topics: Climate Action Collaborative, Recycling, Waste Update

The Environmental Implications of Recycling and Why it Matters

Posted by Taylor Stewart on Jul 19, 2019 11:56:20 AM

Recycling reduces resource constraints, saves emissions, and prevents pollution

Many people already connect the impact recycling efforts have on reducing environmental impact and landfill waste, however, it is oftentimes less evident the importance of recycling in the greater context of globalization and connected world markets. When thinking about the global pressures we are currently facing, including resource loss, climate change, and pollution, recycling becomes increasingly important as a solution to each of these issues. By better understanding the process of recycling, and how it is interconnected with these environmental issues, we can increase our individual commitment to recycling and work collectively towards solutions on a local scale.

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Topics: Recycling, Waste Update

What do the "Recycling Numbers" Actually Mean?

Posted by Elise Matera on Jul 19, 2019 11:48:49 AM

Chasing arrows does not always mean recycle-ability

When tossing something out, many of us are in the habit of looking for the chasing arrows or “recycling symbol” at the bottom which contains a number. This is a great practice, but not all the numbers mean the same thing or can be recycled in the same way. The recycling numbers are shorthand for different types of plastic and refer to the chemical makeup of each type of plastic. Different plastics are created from different chemicals and processes, and the type of plastic used to package a product depends on its function, for example, if the plastic should be rigid and sturdy or flexible and stretchy, and whether it needs to be food safe or non-reactive to the chemicals in the product it stores. Some plastics are easier or more profitable to recycle, and some items with the chasing arrows symbol are rarely recyclable curbside, if at all! For example, a styrofoam cup is a #6 plastic and plastic bags are #2 or #4, but both of these items must be handled by specific, less abundant recycling plants, and are not accepted at many commercial recycling plants. 

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Topics: Recycling, Waste Update

Recycling: A commodities market

Posted by Ingrid Lindquist on Jul 19, 2019 11:48:10 AM

What we can recycle, relies wholly on the manufacturers who are willing to buy and reuse them

After the expansion of US recycling programs in the 1970’s, recycling was something many people either actively practiced or were at least aware of. However, nearly half a century later, in 2019, the market that has kept recycling alive this long is a complete mystery to many. Like everything, recyclables have a market value based on supply, demand, and the current political climate. Each thing you recycle has an economic value which fluctuates depending on the prevailing need for that material, the environmental journalist Henry Grabar calls this process “The Transglobal Trash Trade”. This “trash trade” is the reason why recycling facilities accept or do not accept certain materials at different times, and why some recyclables are worth more than others. 

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Topics: Recycling, Waste Update

Walking Mountains Increases Reach of Zero Waste Events

Posted by Kimberly Schlaepfer on Jul 19, 2019 11:01:59 AM

Expanding Zero Waste one Tent at a Time

Walking Mountains Sustainability was the recipient of a Recycling, Resource and Economic Opportunity Grant from the State of Colorado. This grant allowed us to purchase 10 new zero hero tents and 30 trash, compost, and recycle bins! In the past, Walking Mountains Science Center was only able to provide zero waste services for local towns who had their own infrastructure for compost, recycle, and trash. For many years we have been asked by various local community groups to borrow zero waste stations for their events and unfortunately we would have to say no. Now we are able to provide this opportunity by having our own infrastructure. We are also able to provide zero waste services to events within town’s that do not currently have zero waste stations!

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Topics: Climate Action Collaborative

Pay as you Throw Gets a Boost in Vail

Posted by Beth Markham on Jul 19, 2019 9:59:05 AM

Town of Vail Wins State Grant to Fund New (Small) Trash Bins

Through a Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) mini-grant from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the Town of Vail received twenty wildlife resistant, 32-gallon trash carts that Town of Vail residents were eligible for in order to reduce the amount of trash produced and take advantage of the financial savings through the “Pay As You Throw” ordinance.

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Topics: Climate Action Collaborative

Bring Nature Back into Your Landscape

Posted by Mercedes Quesada-Embid on Mar 26, 2019 11:40:36 AM

Towards a Resilient, Non-Silent Spring

Although it is hard to believe, soon the snow will be melting and the spring and summer seasons will be upon us here in the Eagle Valley. Grasses will be visible again and many of us will be thinking about how best to approach the beautification of our local landscapes. This article will ask you to consider a few exciting opportunities that can align your spring and summer landscaping activities with sustainability efforts. By doing this, your individual impacts will join with those of others and, collectively, we’ll get closer to reaching the goals embedded in the Climate Action Collaborative; to reduce carbon pollution in the Eagle Valley 25% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. Whether fruit and vegetable gardening, managing your landscaping business, planting wildflowers, or figuring out how to be frugal with your water usage during the hot days to come, this article can get you started.

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Topics: Climate Action Collaborative

What to Tackle First, Solar or Energy Efficiency?

Posted by Tom Boyd on Mar 26, 2019 11:31:21 AM

In home-energy improvement aim big, but start small

Like a lot of people reading this I was curious about installing solar power on my roof. Would I save money on my energy bill or would it cost me an arm and a leg? Are there rebates or subsidies out there? Should I lease or buy and, ultimately, is my house in a good spot for solar?

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Topics: Climate Action Collaborative

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