GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Flipbook - Page 59
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) 59
Zero waste educational assembly at Green Star School in Boulder, CO
CASE ST UDY
COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN
Peer-to-peer influence is a powerful tool in
building zero waste communities. The City of
Boulder partners with Eco-Cycle, a local missionbased recycler, to provide one-on-one training
and support for residents to become “EcoLeaders’’ in their multifamily complexes. The
program also provides in-depth group training on
a variety of waste issues, and tours of local waste
facilities. Eco-Leaders serve as neighborhood
educational resources, distributing information
and answering common questions about
residential waste management. They’re also
liaisons between their communities and EcoCycle, providing feedback about the recycling
and composting services in their communities,
offering suggestions for service improvement,
and providing updates on implementation.
Boulder’s Eco-Leaders help residents
understand how to utilize municipal zero waste
services, and help municipalities design more
effective zero waste programs by adapting them
to community needs.
Eco-Cycle is also building zero waste
communities in partnership with two local school
districts through its Green Star Schools program.
With guidance from Eco-Cycle, Green Star
Schools reduce waste by addressing every part
of a school’s waste stream, from the classrooms
to cafeterias. Zero waste education is a major
component of the Green Star Schools program.
This includes site visits, waste audits, lunchroom
monitoring, faculty meetings, and kick-off
assemblies. Through classroom learning and
participation in day-to-day zero waste activities,
students learn to think critically about their own
resource use and how they can reduce waste and
take environmental action. The program annually
serves more than 21,000 students at 55 schools
in two districts. By working with students,
faculty, staff, and parents, Eco-Cycle has helped
each Green Star School divert up to two-thirds
of its discards towards recycling and compost
and fostered waste diversion habits that school
communities will carry with them for life. In 2020,
Eco-Cycle and the City of Boulder celebrated
a huge milestone with all 27 public schools in
the City of Boulder now part of the program.
This earns the City of Boulder the distinction
of being the first city in the United States to
have comprehensive Zero Waste opportunities
available to all public-school students, preschool
through high school graduation.
13 Eco-Cycle. Eco-Cycle’s Green Star Schools® Program.