Recently, the city of Fort Collins adopted changes to ordinances that, among other things, require trash haulers to offer new, larger recycling bins. This as part of a larger plan to meet “diversion” goals that will send 50% of our city’s waste to recycling rather than the landfill.
Great idea. But what do we do with the old, smaller recycling tubs?
“I have 15,000 tubs out [in the community],” says Mark Glorioso, from Gallegos Sanitation. And while many customers are choosing to keep the old tubs for storage containers as they upgrade to the newer bins, plenty are sending the old ones back. Glorioso estimates he currently has between 100 and 200 on hand.
The old tubs are, themselves, recyclable. But not really. “They’d have to be shredded or pelletized before a recycling facility would accept them,” Glorioso says.
So, that leaves potentially thousands of excess plastic recycling tubs as a byproduct of our new and better recycling policies.
But let’s talk about solutions.
Gallegos has at least one: The hauler is talking to Poudre Schools about donating the tubs for worm compost bins. The repurposed tubs would house worms who would eat your food scraps. The resulting worm poop is as fine a gardening amendment as anything from a pricey nursery. I think it’s an excellent idea.
Although I will say that worms can’t take the Christmas and summer off. And that might mean that instead of babysitting Otis the Turtle during school vacations, families can expect to foster the 3rd Grade Worm Farm.
But that’s just me speculating. Glorioso says that if you’ve got a great re-use situation for a stack of has-been recycling tubs, contact Gallegos Sanitation at 484-5556.