PLEASE NOTE: Zero Waste Events require planning. Therefore, we request at least 1 month advanced notice for all staffed Zero Waste Events. This excludes DIY event services. Last-minute requests will not be accepted. Thanks for understanding!
Already have a tentative event date for 2019? Let us know, we will secure our services on this date and contact you three months prior to your event to start planning!
Reserve our services
Zero Waste Event Services
Any event, large or small, can be a Zero Waste Event. Eco-Cycle has a range of options to meet your Zero Waste Event planning needs. From renting recycling bins to consulting Eco-Cycle for planning large Zero Waste Events of over 1,000 people, we have an option that is right for you.
Please note that payment by credit card or cash is required at the CHaRM window to complete the rental transaction and pick up your bins.
We're here to help you plan a large-scale Zero Waste Event. We are only able to serve events in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. We have provided services for premier events in Boulder County such as the Boulder Marathon and the Lafayette Peach Festival for over 20 years. Please contact us for more information on planning your Large Zero Waste Event. (303) 444-6634.
Check out our Zero Waste Event Calendar (2018) here to find out where Eco-Cycle will be next!
For stylishly sustainable events including corporate events, fundraising galas, weddings and commitment ceremonies, and other social events and celebrations, choose Eco-Celebrations, a Zero Waste Event service that turns any black tie event into an elegant green tie event.
In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
The way we produce, consume and dispose of our products and our food accounts for 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. EPA, 2009. Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices.
Between 1950 and 2005, worldwide metals production grew sixfold, oil consumption eightfold, and natural gas consumption 14-fold. In total, 60 billion tons of resources are now extracted annually—about 50% more than just 30 years ago. Today the average European uses 43 kilograms of resources daily, and the average American uses 88 kilograms. Worldwatch Institute, 2010. State of the World 2010.
Between 1970 and 1995, the U.S. represented about one-third of the world’s total material consumption. With less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes 33% of paper, 25% of oil, 15% of coal, 17% of aluminum, and 15% of copper. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
Nearly three quarters of what we throw away is products, with organic materials (food and yard waste) make up the remaining 25%. EPA, 2009. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2008.
More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the United States each year, which comes out to 848 pieces per household. The production, distribution and disposal of all that junk mail creates over 51 million metric tons of greenhouses gases annually, the equivalent emissions of more than 9.3 million cars. ForestEthics, 2008. Climate Change Enclosed: Junk Mail’s Impact on Global Warming.
The U.S. buried or burned more than 166 million tons of resources—paper, plastic, metals, glass and organic materials—in landfills and incinerators in 2008. We recycled and composted only one-third of our discards. U.S. EPA, 2009. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States, Detailed Tables and Figures for 2008.
An estimated 144 billion beverage containers were landfilled, incinerated or littered in the United States in 2005, approximately two out of every three containers sold. This amounts to 54 billion aluminum cans, 52 billion plastic bottles and jugs, 30 billion glass bottles, and about 10 billion pouches, cartons, and drink boxes. Container Recycling Institute, 2007. Water, Water Everywhere: The growth of non-carbonated beverage containers in the United States.
Recycling, reuse and remanufacturing account for 3.1 million jobs in the U.S.—one out of every three green jobs. American Solar Energy Society, 2008. Defining, Estimating, and Forecasting the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Industries in the U.S and in Colorado.
Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%. Environmental Paper Network, 2007. State of the Paper Industry.
Between 1990 and 2000, Americans wasted a total of 7.1 million tons of cans, enough to manufacture 316,000 Boeing 737 airplanes or enough to reproduce the world’s entire commercial airfleet 25 times. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, Americans have thrown away 910 billion cans worth over $25 billion in current dollars. Container Recycling Institute, 2002. Trashed Cans: The Global Environmental Impacts of Aluminum Can Wasting in America.
It only takes about 6 weeks total to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle, and then remanufacture an aluminum beverage can. U.S. EPA, 2010. Common Wastes & Materials: Aluminum.
Methane is 72 times more potent than CO2 over the short term, as measured by the 20-year time horizon. IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
The “hole” in the stratospheric ozone layer over the Antarctic – the layer that protects people from harmful ultraviolet radiation – is now the largest it has ever been and is not expected to recover until between 2060 and 2075. United Nations Environment Programme, 2007. Global Environment Outlook 4: Summary for Decision Makers.
Nearly 80% of the world’s energy comes from oil, coal, or gas. Worldwatch Institute, 2006. Vital Signs 2006-2007
Half the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
75% of marine fisheries are now overfished or fished to capacity. U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety. President’s Cancer Panel, National Cancer Institute, 2010. Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now.
More than 2 million people globally die prematurely every year due to outdoor and indoor air pollution. United Nations Environment Programme, 2007. Global Environment Outlook 4: Summary for Decision Makers.
- Coloradoans recycled 19.6% of our discards in 2008. Excluding scrap metal recycling, our recycling rate drops to 9.3%. We sent 6.8 million tons to landfills for disposal. We generated an average of 8.5 pounds of discarded materials per person per day, far above the national average. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2010. Annual Municipal Solid Waste Recycling and Diversion Totals.
Colorado is one of the worst states in the nation in terms of recycling and composting. Learn more about how our efforts are falling well short in the 2008 "State of Garbage in America."
Why Recycle - Environmental Benefits
The environmental and economic premise of recycling is sound: re-using natural resources over and over again after they have been extracted from the earth makes good sense. By conserving the dwindling supply of these resources and protecting the few remaining undamaged ecosystems left on the earth, we are preserving them for future generations. Overall, the processes used to make consumer goods from recycled material instead of raw resources is much more energy and water efficient. For example, recycled paper uses 60-70% less energy than virgin pulp and 55% less water. Also, making recycled products reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the need to build landfills.
Consumer products do not benignly arrive on store shelves with no impacts attached. In fact, making goods from natural resources can cause great harm. The destructive nature of mining, logging and drilling in fragile natural habitats to produce goods that will only be used once and then thrown away is extremely wasteful. For instance, for every garbage can placed at the curb, there are 71 cans of waste created in the extractive and industrial processes used to convert raw materials into finished products and packaging. Simply put, making paper from paper, cans from cans and plastic from plastic is infinitely kinder to the earth than clearcutting a forest in the Pacific Northwest, mining for bauxite ore in South America or drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Recycling not only saves precious resources but also avoids the toxic processes used to turn these resources into consumer products. For example, producing paper from trees requires chlorine to remove lignin from wood. This process produces dioxins, a known carcinogen. On the other hand, recycled paper already has the lignin removed and only requires using hydrogen peroxide to remove ink.
Keeping waste out of landfills also makes economic and environmental sense. One in five Environmental Protection Agency Superfund cleanup sites is a landfill. Contaminated with tons of toxic material, these landfills have cost taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up and monitor, a process that is likely to continue for many decades into the future. For industry experts, the question isn't if a landfill will leak toxins, but when. Therefore, recycling to avoid landfill disposal helps avoid environmental and public health threats down the road.
Although recycling makes far more sense from an economic, industrial and environmental perspective, the extraction industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers which forces recycled products to compete on an unlevel playing field in the marketplace. Because of this recycled products can sometimes cost more than their virgin counterparts.
Use this EPA tool to calculate your energy savings from recycling:
An integrated approach to recycling and waste reduction can provide appreciable cost savings to businesses. Initial costs to get the service "up and running" will, in the long run, be offset by reduced trash disposal fees and less waste creation. Such a visible commitment to the environment will also result in intangible benefits to employee morale and your company's public perception.
Start-up costs, which in many cases are covered by the monthly charge paid to a service provider, can include the purchase or leasing of recyclables storage containers, container signage and employee education literature, and the cost of transporting recyclable materials to an off-site processing facility. These are the same costs one would expect when contracting for trash disposal service. Recycling at its simplest is transferring material out of the waste stream and giving that material new life to be re-used or re-manufactured into new products. Thus, as the volume of trash generated decreases, a company's associated cost of disposing of that trash will also decrease.
Paramount to establishing a successful business recycling program that maximizes cost efficiencies is active employee participation. This can benefit your program and bottom line in two ways: the more your employees both recycle and reduce the amount of waste they create in the first place, the more your trash disposal cost will decrease. Integrating recycling and waste reduction techniques into your daily operating procedures and the culture of your business will ensure that your employees are saving the company money while they do the right thing for the planet. Ongoing employee education becomes the primary vehicle to ensure the success of your program.
The bottom line: A business recycling and waste reduction program can be cost effective if it is carefully planned and coordinated with staff and employees. While this may appear to be a daunting task, numerous resources exist to assist with the development of an efficient program with achievable goals.
Why can't I recycle all plastics?
Just as with different types of paper, all plastics could be recycled if there were a market, i.e. a manufacturer who would use them to make a new product. There are some problems with plastics recycling that limit the market for some types.
Why do most plastics have a recycling symbol on them if they can't be recycled?
Good question. The recycling industry has been butting heads with the plastics industry over this misleading practice, unfortunately with no results. The symbol is meant to indicate the type of plastic, not its recyclability.
Are the plastics I bring in REALLY being recycled?
Yes, if you bring us what we ask for. Any non-recyclable plastic that you leave at the drop-off center will be landfilled and Eco-Cycle will have to bear the cost of disposing of your garbage. So, please don't try to "slip it in" on Eco-Cycle. Please recycle only acceptable plastics through your curbside program or at the drop-off center.
What are the problems with recycling plastics?
When glass, paper and cans are recycled, they become similar products which can be used and recycled over and over again.
With plastics recycling, however, there is usually only a single re-use. Most bottles and jugs don't become food and beverage containers again. For example, pop bottles might become carpet or stuffing for sleeping bags. Milk jugs are often made into plastic lumber, recycling bins, and toys.
A recent development has been the bottles-to-bottles recycling of "regenerated" pop bottles. Though it is technologically possible to make a 100% recycled bottle, there are serious economic questions. Also, some critics claim that the environmental impact of the regeneration process is quite high in terms of energy use and hazardous by-products.
Currently only about 7% of all plastics generated is recycled compared to 62% of paper, 25% of glass and 35% of metals. Recycling papers, glass and metal, materials that are easily recycled more than once, saves far more energy and resources than are saved with plastics recycling.
Why is each Community's curbside program different?
Curbside recycling pick-ups can be handled in a variety of ways. In many communities the city has chosen to make recycling a citywide service available to everyone. They may do this by contracting with one or more haulers to provide the pick-up as Louisville and Lafayette have done, requiring haulers provide recycling service as Boulder has done, or the city itself may provide this service to everyone as Longmont does.
In other communities curbside recycling pick-up may be available through independent trash haulers. Many trash haulers now have a separate fleet of trucks to pick-up recyclables that are then hauled to a processing facility. In these communities the service needs to be arranged by each individual resident. This of course takes both awareness and initiative on the resident's part.
Because different companies or entities do the hauling of recyclables, different items get picked up. What they pick up depends on what their trucks are equipped to handle, what the processing facility they transport to can handle and how aggressive they are in their waste reduction efforts.
How can I reduce my Junk Mail?
Stop Junk Mail for GOOD! Take back your mailbox by reducing unwanted mail. List brokers sell or rent your name to thousands of businesses each year, resulting in an average of 41 pounds of junk mail pouring into every American mailbox every year. You can stop this deluge of waste.
Reuse Programs in Boulder County
It's always a good idea to recycle, but it's an even better idea to practice reuse first, just like you learned your 3R's--reduce, REUSE, recycle. Reuse means extending the life of an item by using it more than once, and can save time, money, energy and resources. Reuse also helps our local economy by creating jobs and providing quality products to people and organizations with limited means.
There are countless ways you can choose reuse in your daily life, everything from carrying your own refillable water bottle to donating your unwanted couch. Choose reuse is not only what you do when you have something you no longer want, like a couch or computer. Choose reuse is also what you do when you need something. Shop secondhand stores or browse online exchange sites before you head to the department store to buy something new. When you do buy something, make sure it's a quality, durable product that can be reused by you and others, rather than a cheap disposable you'll have to replace in an hour, a month or a year.
Want to make a difference? Join our I Choose to Reuse campaign!
We've gathered some great tools below to help you find reuse outlets in our community, with both virtual and bricks and mortar outlets, and to incorporate more reuse into your life.
These facilities offer secondhand goods and a way for you to donate your own.
2860 Bluff St., Boulder • 720-379-5328
Sells new and gently-used craft, school, and art supplies at a discount. Accepts craft/school/art product donations. Also offers unique industry-surplus items.
1901 63rd St. Boulder • 720-564-2251
The HMM facility has a free reuse shop where you can find auto and hobby products, garden and yard products, home maintenance and cleaning products, paint and more.
6400 Arapahoe Ave. • 303-444-6634
The CHaRM accepts books, yoga mats, cell phones, clothing and shoes for reuse. We also have a new scrap metal reuse program. Learn more about it on our website.
6400 Arapahoe Ave. • 303-419-8534
Borrow a specific tool for a day or a project. You can also donate unwanted tools. Some fees apply.
6400 Arapahoe Ave. • 303-419-5418
The ReSource Yard accepts reusable building materials and other household items for resale. Peruse current items on their website.
This guide is being updated! Please check back soon.
Boulder County has a wealth of great secondhand stores for clothing, furniture, books and more. Shop these outlets first, instead of buying new, to reduce your impact on our environment, promote Zero Waste, support our local economy and save money too. We've pulled together these maps of secondhand stores in the area to help you chart your course to less waste!
Craigslist is the biggest, fastest moving exchange site. Find anything from expensive cars to free shelves in Boulder County.
Freecycle is a network of local people who post and trade free unwanted items via a Yahoo groups listserve. Join the group today.
An online trading site for finding and selling used building materials by zip code. The site also features home improvement tips, forums for exchanging ideas and news about recycled and reused building supplies. Get going on your next project or cleaning out from the last project with help from buildingsurplus.com.
A Tool Library is a place where residents can borrow tools from a comprehensive, centralized tool inventory. By sharing resources, a Tool Library leverages communal purchasing power to ‘do more with less’, and puts tools in the hands of those with limited means. Visit Boulder's Tool Library at ReSource at 6400 Arapahoe and rent or donate tools today.
Boulder County U-Fix-It Clinic!
Repair toys, lamps, electronics and more at one of Boulder County's U-Fix-It clinics! Learn more >>
ifixit helps you repair household and electronic items by offering free online repair guides. You can share your expertise and help the effort expand. Check it out!
There are Many Ways to Give to Eco-Cycle
Eco-Cycle is turning 40 this coming year. Our work now is more important than ever!
When Eco-Cycle was founded 40 years ago, the term “climate change” was little known. As a society, we burned fossil fuels and wasted resources largely unaware of what the full ramifications would be for future generations.
Today, we know better, and we have solutions.
Zero Waste is a cost-effective way for communities to quickly reduce their climate impacts while also creating jobs and other environmental benefits.
Our Zero Waste work is key to the fight against climate change.
We are a proud member of Community Shares, Colorado’s Community Giving Fund that has been offering workplace giving campaigns for 30 years.
Community Shares makes it easy for individuals to be “everyday philanthropists” by allowing employees to make small charitable gifts via ongoing and automated paycheck contributions.
Support Eco-Cycle by shopping at AmazonSmile. You shop. Amazon Gives.
Just click here, sign into your account and shop as you normally would. When you check out, .5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to Eco-Cycle!
Eco-Cycle is working all year long to bring the leading Zero Waste practices to Boulder County with highly-successful programs like the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials, Green Star Schools, Zero Waste community events and Zero Waste Services for businesses.
In addition to our award-winning programs, Eco-Cycle provides tools like the Holiday Guide, Tour de Thrift and Zero Waste Event Kit to help all of us make informed Zero Waste choices and reduce our impact on the environment.
There are many ways to support Eco-Cycle
Print a donation form and mail it with your gift.
Call 303-444-6634 to give by phone.
Give appreciated stock.
Make a planned gift to Eco-Cycle.
Distinguish yourself as a member of the Founders' Society.
Recycle and donate by giving Eco-Cycle your used car, truck, RV or boat.
Sponsor an Eco-Cycle event, publication or program.
Become a Zero Waste Champion and sustain Eco-Cycle’s mission with a recurring gift.
Donate through your workplace giving program.
Receive Eco-Cycle updates about hard-to-recycle collections, new materials for recycling, volunteer opportunities and more with our email newsletters.
Thank you for partnering with us to build a Zero Waste community!
Eco-Cycle strives to be as responsible about your privacy as we are about the environment. To this end, Eco-Cycle will never trade, rent or sell the names, phone numbers, addresses or emails of our supporters.
Información de Reciclaje
Ver el video sobre reciclaje en Longmont aquí:
Casa de la Esperanza primero complejo de apartamentos en Longmont para iniciar “Recíclalo bien!”
Sea voluntario con Eco-Cycle! Llame al 303-243-5820.
¿Tiene preguntas? Llame al 303-243-5820.