There’s a lot of trash in this world. Where does it all go? Into holes, onto trucks, where? Imagine how many houses there are in the world. Imagine all of them having one trash can full.
There’s a lot of trash in this world. Where does it all go? Into holes, onto trucks, where? Imagine how many houses there are in the world. Imagine all of them having one trash can full. Now imagine eighty times that amount. That’s how much the industries are throwing away. Does the earth eat all of this up through landfills?
Boulder County has a facility focused on recycling, called Boulder Recycling Center. Originally, this facility was located about twenty five miles outside of Boulder. In 2001, a new building was built much closer to the city. Boulder County Recycling Center has a contract with Eco-Cycle so that they use and operate the building, while the County still owns it.
According to Eco-Cycle, the City of Boulder businesses recycle about thirty percent of their waste, while residents recycle about fifty seven percent. Boulder County Recycling center process 50,000 tons of recycled materials per year. This adds up to one half of a million tons in the last 10 years. Even with the large amount of residential recycling, Colorado still ranks in the bottom five states for recycling. Boulder County Recycling is trying to prevent this by giving educational presentations at schools and giving tours. One reason for our low ranking in recycling is cheap landfills. Along the Front Range, it costs approximately $19 dollars per ton of waste, whereas in other places, it costs around $45 dollars.
The entire Boulder County Recycling facility is designed to be environmentally friendly. For example, bench tops are made of recycled products. Most lights remain off, because they use natural light from large glass windows. Yet in Boulder County, there is still more work that can be done. Boulder County throws away about one million dollars worth of aluminum cans each year. Recyclable materials have value! Per ton, aluminum is worth approximately $1,700, or about 85 cents per pound.
Recycling can create around ten times more jobs than landfills. At a recycling facility, there are a lot of conveyor belts. People are needed to sort all the recycled products, one person for each type of thing. For example, one person sorts out and deposits milk bottles in their designated area.
Machines do sort some of the recycled products, though. When the products go through the sorter, flat things, and paper, are swept up in a type of ladder, while containers roll down, away from the paper. Boulder County Recycling recommends that you do not crush your cans. These cans will get mixed up incorrectly in the sorter, because they are flat. This develops problems.
Boulder County Recycling Center offers tours to the public. Have fun in Boulder County!