The community group Sustainable Broomfield plans to ramp up its educational campaign over the next few months in an effort to move the city and county towards implementing a single-hauler waste system, said Agustina Fox-Collis, strategy and partnerships director for the organization.
“Our goal is to educate and provide residents with the resources they need to be more aware of sustainability and how we can improve sustainability with the city,” Fox-Collis said. “That’s definitely at the core of our mission.”
A measure on the future of waste hauling was headed for Broomfield ballots Nov. 8, but the City Council unanimously rejected the proposed ballot language and raised question whether the issue should be put to voters at all.
Fox-Collis, who is also a member of Broomfield’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability, said City Council is still in an information gathering — and disseminating — phase.
“Currently there’s a very big push to communicate and engage the community on the topic,” she explained. “I think once there’s a handle on that, there will be a recommendation made based on where residents sit on the topic.”
In its newsletter to residents issued Wednesday, Sustainable Broomfield outlined how the community would benefit from a single-hauler system. One of the top benefits would be reduced traffic and emissions, said Fox-Collis, who wrote the article.
“There’s about 10 different waste disposal companies currently circulating the Broomfield streets,” she said. “When we look at the amount of traffic that creates … it a) contributes to road wear and b) obviously increases greenhouse gas pollution.”
Residents would also have the opportunity to advocate for better rates and improved customer service under a single-hauler system, Fox-Collis explained.
“By creating more demand — by having one account, or one service provider, we’re able to negotiate what those rates will be,” she said. “And also give access to certain neighborhoods or perhaps multi-family apartment complexes that wouldn’t normally have access to either the services or the rates.”
A single-hauler system would also give Broomfield residents access to curbside compost pickup, which would reduce methane gas emissions from landfills, Fox-Collis said.
“A lot more of this waste would be composted and creating nutrients and going back into the earth.”
There are currently no waste management companies that are able to provide full composting curbside pickup in Broomfield, said Brianna Hallinan, president of Sustainable Broomfield.
“The reason why none of the large service providers will offer composting in Broomfield — even though they offer it in other areas, like Boulder, is because they cannot make it economically viable to do so — they do not have enough service in these particular areas to make it cost-effective,” Hallinan said.
When Broomfield’s Zero Waste Plan was being developed, the government consulted with local waste haulers and learned that some would prefer to put in a bid to become the only service provider for certain areas, in an effort to make Broomfield a more cost-effective market to serve.
Over the past decade, some Broomfield residents have attended City Council meetings and spoken against the single-hauler system — saying they should have a right to choose which service they use.
“I think we can kind of counteract and say, you know, if we as a city could shop — it’s like bulk-buying at Costco, things can be more cost-effective if we have everybody pitching in — we can negotiate a better contract,” Hallinan said.
In its latest newsletter, Sustainable Broomfield asked those who are proponents of the single-hauler system to speak up at City Council meetings.