Resources for those impacted by the Marshall Fire
Our hearts go out to our friends, coworkers, volunteers, and community who suffered devastating losses in the Marshall wildfire. The loss, grief, and shock is overwhelming, as is the desire to support our neighbors and friends as they rebuild their lives and as we work together to rebuild our community.
We want to share some resources with those impacted by the fire on what to do with smoke- and water-damaged materials, as well as efforts to help with disaster recovery.
Note: As guidance on how to respond to the Marshall Fire continues to evolve, we will continue to update these resources. Reach out to Eco-Cycle at 303-444-6634 or firstname.lastname@example.org with recycling or compost questions.
Recycle with CHaRM
The Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) normally cannot accept smoke- or water-damaged items, but in response to this disaster, we have identified temporary marketing solutions for those damaged materials, specifically for the following items:
- Large appliances (e.g. washing machines)
- Small appliances (e.g. coffee machines)
- Scrap metal (always accepted in any condition, including fire-damaged)
Note: While we are temporarily able to accept smoke- or water- damaged items, we cannot accept items that are fire-damaged except for scrap metal. If you have fire-damaged materials, you will need to landfill these items. Please see future guidance from Boulder County regarding fire-damaged electronics.
Eco-Cycle will continue to waive the facility fee for residents who were impacted by the fire. We also created a fund of $2,500 to cover the processing costs to recycle all smoke-damaged materials and will continue to offer free drop-off for residents impacted by the Marshall Fire as long as these funds remain. UPDATE MARCH 2022: Our funding has been exhausted. Normal CHaRM fees apply for recycling these items.
Visit ecocycle.org/charm for our complete list of accepted recycling materials.
NEW ITEM ACCEPTED AT CHaRM
Smoke detectors have previously not been accepted in any program in Boulder County. However, we can now accept specific smoke detectors at CHaRM for a fee of $10. The detector must be labeled as AM241 with 1 microcurie or less (check the label) and must be intact. We are also able to accept photoelectric smoke detectors. If the detector is greater than 1 microcurie of AM241 or contains Ra-226 or Ni-63, refer to the Radioactive Materials Unit of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment for guidance at cdphe.colorado.gov.
Recycle with the Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility
Boulder County Resource Conservation Division’s Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF), located at 1901c 63rd St., Boulder, is also now accepting smoke detectors for proper disposal from households affected by the Marshall Fire. The smoke detectors will be collected for free until March 31, 2022. Due to health concerns stemming from the current pandemic, residents are required to make an appointment using the online application for drop-off to help limit the number of people at the center at any given time.
While at the HMMF, residents can also drop off other household hazardous waste such as paints, automotive liquids, cleaning solutions, and lawn and garden products for free. Learn more and make an appointment on the HMMF website – www.BoCo.org/HMMF.
Compost/Yard Waste Drop-Off
Water-logged corrugated cardboard and paper is not recyclable, as it will begin breaking down and decomposing, but that’s why it can be composted. Compost your water-logged cardboard and other paper items in your curbside compost bin or take it to Eco-Cycle's CHaRM. Please remove all tape, labels, and stickers before composting.
Damaged trees or limbs. It is best to have a certified arborist determine how to handle fire-damaged trees. An arborist can also help determine if a damaged tree may revive in the spring. To compost yard waste, there are collection points throughout Boulder County, including Longmont’s Waste Diversion Center, and in Louisville, Superior, and Boulder. Please review the collection center’s guidelines and call to make sure your yard waste can be accepted, as some collection centers can accept fire-damaged tree branches while others cannot. Smaller burned branches are OK to put in your curbside compost bin.
Restore Damaged Yards, Plants, and Soil
We have received questions from those impacted by the fire, including participants in our Community Carbon Farming (CCF) program, about what they should do if their yards and gardens have ash or were burned in the fire. Our friends at Harlequin’s Gardens have created some helpful suggestions on how to remediate and revive singed and burned gardens, plants, and soil. Colorado State University Extension also has many useful fire recovery resources for landscapes. Stay tuned, as Eco-Cycle is researching ways we can evolve our CCF program to help supply compost and other organic applications to residents in fire-impacted neighborhoods.
Restore Damaged Items
Damaged construction: Resource Central is providing free tool rentals and $100 worth of building materials for free to those whose homes were damaged by the Marshall Fire. Individuals whose homes were damaged by the fire seeking free tool rentals and building supplies, as well as people with materials to donate, can visit Resource Central from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 6400 Arapahoe Road, Boulder (co-located with Eco-Cycle's CHaRM).
Smoke-damaged outdoor “soft” gear, such as tents, sleeping bags, coats, and puff jackets, can be brought to the REI store in Boulder for cleaning, in partnership with Tersus Solutions. Those impacted by the fire will be offered wholesale prices to clean gear. Drop off your gear at the REI in Boulder, or contact email@example.com.
Smoke-damaged clothing. Eco-Cycle has many employees and volunteers affected by the fires who report that smoke-damaged clothing can be restored by washing it three times, with a heaping tablespoon of baking soda.
Smoke-damaged carpeting. Similarly, we are learning that one of the best ways to remove the smell of smoke from carpeting is to sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda and let it sit for at least a half-hour before vacuuming. Repeat as many times as needed.
Reusable Bags and Louisville’s Disposable Bag Tax
In 2020, Louisville voters approved Ballot Question 2A, which aims to reduce single-use bag consumption within the community by applying a $0.25 tax on every paper and plastic bag provided to the customer by a Louisville retailer. Beginning January 1, 2022, the Disposable Bag Tax went into effect. Acknowledging that Louisville and Superior residents may no longer have or have access to reusable bags to use to avoid paying this tax, the City of Louisville has distributed several thousand reusable bags to victims at the Disaster Assistance Center. Free reusable bags are also still available at Louisville’s City Hall.
Updated January 27, 2022.