Frequently Asked Questions About Zero Waste at Folsom Field
What is Ralphie’ Green Stampede?
Ralphie’s Green Stampede is CU-Boulder’s effort to eliminate waste and cut carbon emissions from home football games. The zero waste goal of the Stampede is to reduce, recycle or compost at least 90 percent of the waste generated at Folsom Field this year.
What is recyclable?
Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, clean/balled foil as well as cardboard and other light-colored paper. Plastic cups are not currently recyclable off campus but are being tested here at CU.
Where do recyclables go?
After the game, barrels and bags are sorted at CU’s Intermediate Processing Facility (IPF) next to the Stadium. Cans, bottles, and clean foil as well as cardboard boxes are picked up by Eco-Cycle and taken to Boulder County’s recycling facility where materials are baled and shipped to recycling mills.
What is compost?
Compost is a valuable soil amendment produced by the controlled decomposition of specific organic materials. Compost has some amazing benefits including:
• reducing the need for fertilizers
• reducing the need for water
• preventing erosion
• preventing creation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas
What can I compost at the Stadium?
Unlike backyard composting, the “industrial-strength” composting process for this event enables the following materials to be accepted:
Food, meat and bones, soiled paper napkins, paper cups, compostable packaging, and paper towels from bathrooms.
What is compostable packaging?
Packaging made from organic materials can be composted along with food scraps in commercial composting facilities. Main types of compostable packaging are untreated paper, sugar cane pulp (bagasse), polylactic acid (PLA), and Plant Starch Material (PSM).
Bagasse is made from leftover sugarcane stalks, which were previously burned or thrown away, to create products that feel like paper, but are less expensive.
Polylactic acid (PLA), and Plant Starch Material (PSM) are the result of progress in biotechnology. Processes can now extract sugars and starches from plant matter. These can be converted into resins that are then formed into usable products, using 65% less resources versus conventional plastics.
Where do compostables go?
Western Disposal composts the organic fraction from the stadium separately for CU-specific testing and quality control at it’s permitted composting facility in Boulder. Finished compost will be returned to CU as a valuable soil amendment.
What is zero waste and is it really possible?
The goal of Zero Waste is to recycle or compost ninety percent or more of all materials. More importantly though, zero waste moves beyond “waste disposal” and even “waste diversion” by trying to design waste out of products and packaging completely.
Zero waste is no longer an idealistic vision but a practical cornerstone of sustainability. Newsweek for instance, listed zero waste at the top of its list of ten fixes for the planet.
CU first envisioned a waste free campus in its 2006 Blueprint for a Green Campus. Since then, CU’s waste has decreased, despite record-levels of enrollment and new construction. This saves disposal costs, earns revenues from robust recycling markets, and employs students who make a difference with their degree.
Where can I get more info?
Visit CU Recycling at the Environmental Center in the UMC, room 355 or on the web: www.recycling.colorado.edu. For more information about compostable packaging, visit Eco-Products at http://www.ecoproducts.com
Ralphie's Green Stampede Fact Sheet