CM: SWC Credit – Alternative Collection Options for Recyclable and Compostable Products and Materials

SWC Efficiency and Effectiveness KPI

SWC Credit: Alternative Collection Options for Recyclable and Compostable Products and Materials 

(2 Points, Reciprocal)

Credit Summary

This credit aims to guarantee that proper waste collection is available to consumers for compost and recyclables. To ensure that this happens, the local government or municipality must demonstrate that 90 percent or more of their clientele has access to at least one option from a list of recyclable and compostable materials collection programs.

Impact Summary

The collection of recyclable and compostable materials is extremely important as hundreds of thousands of tons of waste that could be repurposed end up in landfills every year. We must enact proper solid waste collection policy in order to mitigate this issue. 

Submittal Summary

To reach the requirements, municipalities or industries might consider site and support drop-off facilities or identify the number of customers/residents covered by a curbside program. 

Case Studies and Benefits

For reference, Boulder, CO has enacted a policy to enforce the collection of recyclable materials. While this policy doesn’t set up practices for collection, it’s this type of enforcement that is important for minimizing the waste stream to landfills.

For more information, visit the Required Documentation, Definitions, and Referenced Standards.

Intent and Requirements

Intent

To provide various collection methods for recyclable and discarded materials.

Local Government & Industry Requirements

Demonstrate access for 90 percent or more of your customers to one or more of the following collection options for Recyclable Materials and Compostable Materials:

  • Curbside programs: (frequency, scope)
    • E.g. Weekly pick-up of recyclables.
  • Drop-off programs/facilities (accessibility; proximity; hours of operation)
  • Street bins: coverage, servicing, materials collected, color-coding/identification

Why We Care

1It’s extremely important for customers to have access to collection for recyclable and compostable waste. Without access to proper collection, tons and tons of waste will end up in landfills regardless of how well intentioned consumers are. According to a study conducted by the University of Indiana, “every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.” This astounding number makes it clear how important it is to open up consumers to better waste management processes

How to Meet the Requirements

Potential Strategies:

  • Identify the number of residents or customers covered by operating curbside programs.
  • Site and support drop-off facilities in convenient locations.
  • Adopt standardized color-coding and labeling of private and public carts and bins.
    • Conversion to standardized colors and/or labels can occur in conjunction with retirement of existing non-conforming color-coded containers.

Required Documentation

UPLOAD

  • Recyclable Materials Details
  • Upload curbside recycling program description
  • Upload facility descriptions for recycling drop off programs
  • Compostable Materials Details
  • Upload curbside pick up program description 
  • Upload facility descriptions for recycling drop off programs
  • Upload street bin information for available compost bins

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

Local government

Boulder County, Colorado has the waste collection infrastructure to ensure that both recyclables and compostable materials are properly collected and disposed of. The county has areas for food waste and yard scrap drop-offs, as well as free mulch and other compost materials. The county sponsors these drop-off centers and, as a result, the residents receive a 40% discount from normal yard waste and wood waste drop-off pricing.2 Additionally, Boulder County has a robust recycling center that processes 60,000 per year, with a 100,000 ton per year capacity available to its citizens.3 A 2020 statistic reports that Boulder County had the highest recycling rate in the state at 37%.4 This is achieved through designated bins, drop-off centers, and community effort and interest. 

Industry

RoadRunner Recycling provides recycling services for commercial waste recycling, helping increase recycling rates and business lower recurring costs. Working with RoadRunner saves businesses an average of 20% on monthly waste and recycling costs. The company provinces containers, efficient hauling, and the use of technology to help companies of all sizes recycle more.5 In addition to recycling, RoadRunner places an emphasis on the importance of composting. They worked with 21st Street Coffee and Tea to help them with the implementation of a compost program, aming to both reduce monthly costs and increase diversion rates. This program was successful, and highly recommended by the company.6  

2 Yard Waste and Food Scrap Drop-off 

https://www.bouldercounty.org/environment/composting/yard-waste-and-food-scrap-drop-off/ 

3 Recycling Center 

https://www.bouldercounty.org/environment/recycle/recycling-center/ 

4 Boulder County communities lead in recycling. 

https://www.dailycamera.com/2020/11/16/boulder-county-communities-lead-in-recycling/ 

5 RoadRunner Recycling 

https://www.roadrunnerwm.com 

6 A Guide to Workplace Composting 

https://www.roadrunnerwm.com/blog/a-guide-to-workplace-composting 

Referenced Standards

N/A

Definitions

Compostable Materials 

CalRecycle Definition: Material used to make compost includes landscape trimmings, agricultural crop residues, paper pulp, food scrap, wood chips, manure, and biosolids.

Recyclable Materials 

SWANA Definition: Substance that can potentially be reused as or recycled into a recycled material or recycled product.

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